Average hospital readmission costs for 18 diagnoses

Hospital readmission costs were higher than initial admission costs for about two-thirds of common diagnoses in 2016, according to a Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Statistical Brief released by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

For the brief, AHRQ examined readmission trends and costs using the 2010-16 Nationwide Readmissions Database, which includes data on hospital patients 1 year and older readmitted for any cause within 30 days of first admission. AHRQ focused on readmissions for 18 of the 21 principal diagnosis categories listed in ICD-10's diagnosis coding system. Three categories were excluded for lack of data, or because they involved planned aftercare.

The average readmission cost for any diagnosis in 2016 was $14,400.

Eighteen diagnoses and their average readmission costs:

1. Congenital malformations —  $19,000 in average readmission costs for 2016

2. Neoplasms — $17,900

3. Infectious/parasitic diseases — $16,700

4. Injury, poisoning, external causes — $16,500

5. Circulatory system diseases — $15,900

6. Blood diseases — $15,700

7. Musculoskeletal system diseases — $15,000

8. Respiratory system diseases — $14,500

9. Nervous system diseases — $14,400

10. Digestive system diseases — $14,400

11. Eye/adnexa diseases — $14,000

12. Conditions not elsewhere classified — $13,800

13. Endocrine/metabolic diseases — $13,500

14. Genitourinary system diseases — $13,200

15. Skin diseases — $13,200

16. Ear/mastoid process diseases — $12,900

17. Mental/behavioral disorders — $8,200

18. Pregnancy/childbirth — $7,000

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