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Average Cost of Hospital Stay, 2012 (Medical, Surgical, Maternity)

Average cost for a hospital stay in 2012 was estimated at $10,400. (Charges were higher, but not revealed.) Surgical stays averaged $21,200. Medical stays averaged $8500, and Maternity $4300 including the baby’s cost. A hospital stay for a child ages 1 to 17 was nearly $10,000. Add about 19% to adjust to 2019 dollars, after medical inflation. Statistical Brief #181, published October 2014

Average Cost of Hospital Stay, 2016 (all patients and uninsured)

Statistical Brief #246 shows an estimated true average cost of $11,700 (expect prices to be higher) for a hospital stay in 2016. Average private pay stay was $10,900 in cost, with an average length of stay of 3.9 days. A stay for someone uninsured cost $9300 and was a little longer time in hospital, 4.1 days. The estimated cost of a Medicare stay was $13,600 in 2016. A separate report (statistical brief #182, published in 2014), looked at reasons for hospital stays. Excluding childbirth, the most common reasons for admission for uninsured patients were mood disorders (#1) and skin infections (#2, a potentially avoidable admission). For privately insured patients, the top two reasons were osteoarthritis and mood disorders. Published by AHRQ with HCUP data, December 2018.

Average Charge (Price) for Uterine Fibroid Treatment

Average price was $28,000 for inpatient surgery, or $25,200 for ambulatory surgery for benign fibroids in 2013. (Using medical inflation rates to 2019, inpatient surgery could be estimated at $32,400, and ambulatory surgery is estimated at $29,200.)  Most common surgical treatments: hysterectomy, myomectomy, embolization, and endometrial ablation. Report: Procedures to Treat Benign Uterine Fibroids in Hospital Inpatient and Hospital-Based Ambulatory Surgery Settings, 2013. Statistical Brief #200 by AHRQ, published January 2016

Average Cost and Hospital Length of Stay for Pressure Ulcers (pdf)

Pressure ulcers, or decubitus ulcers (commonly called bed sores) rose nearly 80% between 1993 and 2006, according to the AHRQ government agency. Average estimated cost was $16,800 for hospitalization primarily for pressure ulcers in 2006 (often associated with paralysis, spinal cord injury, dementia, diabetes); 4.2% of these patients died in the hospital. Most pressure ulcer cases however had some Other main reason for being admitted – such as septicemia, pneumonia, or urinary tract infections; 11.6% of these patients died in hospital; average est. cost was over $20,000; over half were discharged to a long-term care facility. Average length of stay was 12.7 to 14.1 days, compared to 5 days for other types of adult admissions. Statistical Brief #64 published December 2008. Caution: publication is quite old, and has not been updated by AHRQ.

Average Cost of Common Hospital Stays (HCUP)

Learn about the average cost for common hospital stays, by diagnosis. Average cost per stay for all diagnoses was $10,000 in 2011 (about $12,300 in 2019 dollars).  Report shows 20 conditions with the highest total inpatient costs in 2011. Includes newborn baby ($3300), septicemia ($18,600), osteoarthritis ($15,400), coronary atherosclerosis ($17,200), acute myocardial infarction (heart attack, $18,900), congestive heart failure ($10,900), pneumonia ($9500), stroke ($14,000), COPD ($7800, physical rehab ($13,100), diabetes with complications ($9600), hip fracture ($15,400), mood disorders ($15,400) and more. These numbers are estimated costs, NOT prices. Add about 23% for cost inflation. Prices will be more. Statistical Brief #168 from Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project, AHRQ Dec. 2013. No updates available yet.

Back Problems: ER Visits and Average Cost of Hospital Stay (AHRQ)

Statistical Brief #105 shows average estimated cost of a hospital stay for back problems was over $14,000 in 2008 for a 2-day stay (primary diagnosis), or $11,000 for an average 4.3 day length of stay, if the back problem was just one of other diagnoses for admission. Actual charges would have been higher. Average age for an Emergency Dept. visit for a back problem was 44. Report by AHRQ (respected federal gov’t. agency), 2011. Using simple medical inflation rate, a cost of $14,000 in 2008 would be close to $19,000 in 2019. Charges could easily be 3 to 4 times higher, or $76,000.

Bariatric Surgery Overview and Estimated Costs

Federal government summary of different types of weight-loss surgery estimates average cost is $15,000 to $25,000 (2016). By the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) of NIH

Diabetes Hospitalizations, average cost & length of stay, 2008

Admission to a hospital in 2008 for a principal diagnosis of diabetes cost an average of $8612 (close to $12,000 in 2019 dollars, as estimated true cost – note, prices would have been higher), and required a 5.0 day length of stay. Average age was 53, with 72% coming through the Emergency room (ED). AHRQ Statistical Brief #93 published Aug. 2010 (latest available)

Healthcare Expenses for Seniors (MEPS)

Healthcare expenses for seniors are outlined in this MEPS report on Health Care Expenditures for the Elderly Age 65 and over. Median annual expenditures were $4,206 per person. Average annual expenses for those with expense were $9,863 in 2011. Using medical inflation rates, $9,863 was about $12,194 in 2019 dollars. Medicare paid over 62% (up considerably from 10 years earlier); private insurance paid 16%; out-of-pocket amount declined to 12%. 96% of seniors had some healthcare expense, most often office-based care and prescribed medicines. Medications took up 22% of the total, averaging $76 per purchase. For seniors, the inpatient room rate averaged $3,199 per day (sticker shock, and nearly $4,000 in 2019 dollars); ER visit was $884 on average; office visit was $228. MEPS Statistical Brief #429 uses 2011 data, published Jan. 2014.

Iowa Hospital Inpatient Charges Compare

Iowa Hospital Charges Compare provides information about volumes and average 2018 charges (amount billed) and median charge at IA hospitals. This site is for consumers who want to find the average cost of surgery or other inpatient services. Select one hospital to begin. Site allows 4 hospitals to be compared at one time for prices, length of stay, number of cases and more. Must select city first, then body system before finding the procedure. Provided by the Iowa Hospital Association, this is a starting point for comparing average cost of care between Iowa hospitals. Compare typical prices for surgery such as gall bladder removal, bowel surgery, knee joint replacement; childbirth and newborns, pneumonia, stroke, heart care, transplants, COPD,rehab, and many medical conditions. Severity of illness can be specified. Limited focus to one service and category at a time. Average cost (and median charges) across the state are also shown for each procedure.

Knee replacement, Hip replacement, Spinal fusion: Cost, Age, Survival (pdf)

Interesting but old report. Statistical Brief #34 by AHRQ shows national estimated average hospital cost for knee arthroplasty (knee replacement) was $13,200 in 2004 dollars; hip replacement average cost = $14,500, and spinal fusion was $19,600 excluding physician fees. Overall average age for orthopedic inpatient procedures was age 60, but spinal fusion much younger (age 52), and knee replacement (age 66), & hip replacement (age 70) were much higher. Average length of stay (ALOS), survival rates (percent died in hospital) and trends since 1997 also shown. Released July 2007, using 2004 and 2005 data. Medical inflation since 2004 is about 58%.

Septicemia – Average Hospitalization Cost

Admission to a hospital in 2009 for a principal diagnosis of septicemia cost an average of $18,500 (over $24,200 in 2019 dollars).  Average cost per day of $2300 was estimated “true” cost – note, prices would have been higher. Septicemia required a 8.8 day length of stay. Many died in-hospital (16.3%), down from 2000. Average age at admission was 60. AHRQ Statistical Brief #122 published Oct. 2011. Consumers may be surprised to learn that Septicemia was the 2nd most common reason for hospitalization in 2015, after births.

Other Helpful Listings

Hospitalizations – HCUP-US Statistical Briefs

AHRQ published nearly 20 briefs since 2018 regarding opioid-related hospital stays and Emergency Department visits, including opioid stays for seniors; hospital ambulatory surgery, mental health and substance use hospital stays, adverse safety events, readmissions, pediatric hospital stays and ER visits, heart problems, atrial fibrillation, and more. Average charges or estimated true cost (most use 2016 or older data) and average length of stay are sometimes shown in the tables; death rate sometimes shown. From the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project. Additional reports continue to be added; more than 200 older briefs also indexed

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