Hospital Stay Costs Up 90 Percent Since 2000, Report Says

The average cost of a hospital stay in the U.S. went up by 90 percent from 2000 to 2010, climbing from $17,390 to $33,079, according to a new market report from Health Industry Distributors Association, a trade organization representing medical products distributors.

Several factors drove the increase in hospital costs, according to the report. One reason cited was new medical technology such as surgical robots. Second, monthly health insurance premiums are growing at a faster rate than overall inflation. Individual coverage premiums went up by 8 percent, and family coverage premiums increased by 9 percent in 2011, compared to the general inflation rate of 2 percent, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Additionally, costs have gone up due to increased consumer use of medical labs. This development has increased overall testing costs and contributed to pricier hospital stays, according to the report.

The average hospital stay in the U.S. costs almost three times more than the average in other industrialized nations, despite stays generally being longer in those countries. Furthermore, total hospital expenses increased more than 140 percent from 1995 to 2011, going from about $320 billion to more than $773.5 billion, according to the report.

As for who pays for hospital stays, Medicare maintained its spot as the top payer from 1980 to 2011, ranging from 34.6 percent to 39.3 percent of costs. Medicaid thesecond-largest hospital payer — increased its portion from 9.6 percent to 16.3 percent of hospital costs during the same time period.

For more information on the acute-care market, visit the HIDA website.

More Articles on Hospital Costs:
Study: Minimizing Overtriage Could Save $136.7M Annually
Fitch: 20 Statistics on Hospital Financial Margins
10 Recent Findings on Healthcare Quality's Impact on Cost 

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