Top 20 Most Expensive Inpatient Conditions

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The total cost of hospital stays in 2011 totaled about $387 billion, but which inpatient conditions were most expensive?

According to an August statistical brief from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Medicare and Medicaid picked up most of that inpatient hospital tab — 63 percent, or $242.9 billion. Commercial insurers covered 29 percent, or $112.5 billion, while the remaining $17.1 billion went toward uninsured hospitalizations. The other $14.5 billion was labeled as "other/missing," according to AHRQ.

Of all inpatient conditions covered by every payer, septicemia was the most expensive. Treating patients with septicemia cost $20.3 billion in 2011, representing 5.2 percent of total inpatient costs. The five most expensive conditions cost more than 18 percent of all hospitalizations, while the top 20 most expensive represented 47.1 percent of hospitalization costs.

Here are the top 20 most expensive inpatient conditions from 2011 across all payers, according to the AHRQ brief. Note: The figures represent the hospital's cost to produce the services — not the amount paid for services by payers — and they do not include the physician fees associated with the hospitalization.

1. Septicemia (except in labor) — $20.3 billion
2. Osteoarthritis — $14.8 billion
3. Complication of device, implant or graft — $12.9 billion
4. Liveborn (general childbirth) — $12.4 billion
5. Heart attack — $11.5 billion
6. Spondylosis, intervertebral disc disorders, other back problems — $11.2 billion
7. Pneumonia (except caused by tuberculosis and STDs) — $10.6 billion
8. Congestive heart failure — $10.5 billion
9. Coronary atherosclerosis — $10.4 billion
10. Adult respiratory failure — $8.7 billion
11. Acute cerebrovascular disease — $8.4 billion
12. Cardiac dysrhythmias — $7.6 billion
13. Complications of surgical procedures or medical care — $6.9 billion
14. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and bronchiectasis — $5.7 billion
15. Rehab care, fitting of prostheses and adjustment of devices — $5.5 billion
16. Diabetes mellitus with complications — $5.4 billion
17. Biliary tract disease — $5.1 billion
18. Hip fractures — $4.9 billion
19. Mood disorders — $4.8 billion
20. Acute and unspecified renal failure — $4.7 billion

More Articles on Hospital Finance:
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