Breaking down hospital stays, aggregate costs by payer

The cost of hospital care is a top concern among policymakers, insurers and consumers alike, and lowering expenditures for such care is one of the principal drivers behind the shift to value-based care. In 2014, hospital care expenditures — the largest single component of healthcare spending — increased by 4.1 percent, according to Health Affairs data cited in an Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality report.

Although this growth rate is up from 3.5 percent in 2013, annual hospital care expenditure growth was an average of 5.5 percent from 2008 through 2012, according to the report.

There were 35.6 million hospital stays in 2013, totaling $381.4 billion in aggregate costs. Here is the breakdown of hospital stays by payer, according to AHRQ.

  • Medicare — 39 percent
  • Private insurance — 30 percent
  • Medicaid — 21 percent
  • Uninsured — 6 percent
  • Other/missing — 4 percent

The percentages of aggregate hospital costs by payer are as follows.

  • Medicare — 46 percent
  • Private insurance — 28 percent
  • Medicaid — 17 percent
  • Uninsured — 5 percent
  • Other/missing — 4 percent

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