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Hospital Stays: More Intensive, More Expensive

Hospital costs for treating septicemia increased by an average of almost 12% yearly from 1997 to 2007, the AHRQ said today, citing data from its Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project. Costs jumped from $4.1 billion in 1997 to $12.3 billion in 2007. Other costly conditions in the same time period:

Osteoarthritis: 9.5% annual increase ($4.8 billion to $11.8 billion)
Back problems: 9.3% annual increase ($3.5 billion to $8.5 billion)
Acute kidney failure: 15.3% annual increase ($1 billion to $4 billion)
Respiratory failure: 8.8% annual increase ($3.3 billion to $7.8 billion)

The most important driver of cost increases in the hospital was the greater intensity of services provided during a hospital stay, which grew 3.1% per year from 1997 to 2007 and accounted for 70% of the total rise in hospital costs, the AHRQ said.

*This blog post was originally published at ACP Hospitalist*

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