Study: Hospital costs for serious infections tripled over 10 years

A group of frequently occurring serious infections proved to be a growing source of hospitalizations from 1997 to 2007, so much so that costs tripled during that period, according to new research.

A new report from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality concludes that stays for skin and subcutaneous tissue infections went up 90 percent for men and 75 percent for women. The rate of another dangerous infection, septicemia, shot up by 63 percent--77 percent among men and 53 percent among women.

During this same period, inflation-adjusted aggregate costs for hospital stays rose from $222.4 billion in 1997 to $343.9 billion in 2007, up 55 percent. AHRQ researchers say that the biggest driver of costs was an increase in service intensity, an observation that squares with the notion of higher costs due to infection treatment.

To learn more about this data:
- read this AHRQ report

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