Health Care Insurance News - Overview of Hospital Stays in the United States
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Provides New Statistics for Hospital Stays.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) reported in a recent study that hospital stays increased by 12 percent between 1997 and 2010, but their cost jumped 62 percent -- from $232 billion to $376 billion. Highlights from the study include:
- The total number of hospital stays in the United States increased 12 percent between 1997 and 2010, but the rate of hospitalization remained stable at about 1,260-1,270 stays per 10,000 population;
- The average length of stay decreased 5 percent from 4.9 days in 1997 to 4.7 days in 2010;
- Aggregate inflation-adjusted hospital costs were $375.9 billion in 2010-a 62 percent increase since 1997. Average costs per stay increased 45 percent to $9,700 in 2010;
- In 2010, more than half of hospital stays were billed to Medicare and Medicaid;
- Private insurance was the second most common primary payer in 2010 at 32 percent of hospital stays, a decrease from 39 percent in 1997;
- The number of hospital stays covered by Medicaid grew at nearly four times the rate of all stays between 1997 and 2010, and the number of uninsured hospital stays increased at more than three times the rate of all stays;
- The majority of hospital discharges in 2010 were routine (71 percent);
- Discharge to home health care represented 11 percent of all stays, but increased 79 percent during this time period.