Multidrug-resistant infections cost hospitals $2.4B annually

Hospitals spend more than $2 billion annually to treat patients with multidrug-resistant infections, according to a study published in Health Services Research.

For the study, researchers used multivariable regression models to assess hospitalization costs and length of stay for 6.4 million inpatient stays involving bacterial infections in 2014.

Three study findings:

1. At least 10.8 percent of inpatient stays involving a bacterial infection showed evidence of one or more multidrug-resistant organisms.

2. Researchers estimated the cost of treating multidrug-resistant infections in the inpatient setting is at least $2.39 billion annually. When accounting for undercoded infections, this estimate jumps to $3.38 billion.

3. Researchers also estimated additional costs per inpatient stay for the following types of infections:

  • Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus — $1,718
  • Clostridium difficile — $4,617
  • Infection with a different multidrug-resistant organism$2,302
  • Infection with more than one multidrug-resistant organism — $3,570

"Infections associated with [multidrug-resistant organisms] result in a substantial cost burden to the U.S. healthcare system," researchers concluded.

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