Adult Hospital Stays for Cancer Totaled $20.1B in 2009

Adult hospital stays principally for cancer cost $20.1 billion, accounting for 6 percent of adult inpatient hospital costs in 2009, according to a statistical brief published by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

The statistical brief relies on data reported through the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Nationwide Inpatient Sample on hospital stays for cancer care among adults aged 18 and older in 2009. In 2009, there were 4.7 million cancer-related hospitalizations among adults. Of these, 1.2 million stays had cancer identified as the principal diagnosis.

Key findings from the statistical brief include the following:

•    Among adult men, the most common cancer hospitalizations in 2009 were for prostate cancer, secondary malignancies and lung cancer.
•    From 2000-2009, kidney cancer was responsible for the largest increase in cancer hospitalizations for men, up 40 percent.
•    Hospital stays for colon cancer among men declined 14 percent and stays for bladder cancer declined 12 percent.
•    Among adult women, the most common cancer hospitalizations in 2009 were for secondary malignancies, breast cancer and lung cancer.
•    From 2000-2009, hospitalizations for breast cancer decreased 28 percent and those for cervical cancer decreased 26 percent.
•    The highest average costs per stay were for leukemia ($40,200 per stay), multiple myeloma ($28,700 per stay) and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma ($24,900 per stay).
•    Costs per hospital day were highest for prostate cancer ($4,600 per day), breast cancer ($4,100 per day) and thyroid cancer ($3,500 per day).

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