Opioid use disorder costs hospitals $95B annually

Care for patients with opioid use disorders in the hospital setting has resulted in billions in annual hospital costs — most of which were not reimbursable or were paid for by public payers, according to data published Jan. 24 by Premier Inc. AI Applied Sciences.

Four things to know:

1. Patients with OUD average 32.5 percent higher cost per emergency department visit and 8 percent higher cost per inpatient visit than those without an OUD diagnosis.

2. From 2017 to 2022, OUD was associated with about 66 million emergency department outpatient visits and 760,000 inpatient visits a year in the U.S., according to the report.

3. Researchers applied cost estimates to all hospital emergency department and inpatient visits to determine the total costs of OUD to hospitals: $95.4 billion a year, or 7.86 percent of all hospital expenses (although OUD only accounted for 0.56 percent of total emergency department outpatient visits and 2.28 percent of inpatient admissions).

4. If the payer mix remained constant, $67 billion of the expense would be borne by the Medicare and Medicaid programs, according to PINC AI.

Click here for more information on the research and methodology.

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