Opioid epidemic costs hospitals about $11 billion annually

The total care for patients with opioid use disorder costs hospitals about $11 billion annually, according to an analysis conducted by Premier.

Three things to know:

1. For the analysis, Premier included opioid overdoses and other related costs using recent data from 647 facilities in a database, which spent about $1.94 billion on care for those patients. Analysts then used an estimated 143 million annual ED visits across the U.S. to extrapolate that the opioid epidemic adds $11.3 billion in annual costs to the U.S. healthcare system.

2. Premier found the costs were concentrated among 100,000 opioid overdose patients with about 430,000 total visits across emergency departments.

"Opioid addiction has been a public health problem for some time, but we've yet to show exactly how hospitals — the entities that treat most of these patients — are financially impacted," Roshni Ghosh, MD, vice president and chief medical information officer of Premier, said in a press release. "This analysis shows that on top of losing family members and friends to this epidemic, it's costing consumers and taxpayers, as well as hospitals. There is an urgent need to provide health systems and emergency caregivers with frontline solutions that they can use to stem the tide of opioid addiction in our communities."

3. About 47 percent of patients with opioid overdoses or opioid use disorder were treated and released. About 53 percent were treated and admitted. Of that 53 percent, about 40 percent had organ failure.

More articles on opioids:

American Heart Association offers online classes on caring for opioid OD victims
Pennsylvania students create wristband to track potential opioid OD victims
9,000 pediatric opioid overdose deaths since 1999, study finds

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