Hospitals spent $56B treating baby boomers in '07

We're always hearing about the cresting wave of aging Baby Boomers needing more and more healthcare services. This week, a report report from the Agency for Healthcare Policy and Research supplied some data suggesting just how big the surge may be.

The new AHRQ report concludes that in 2007, there were more than 4.7 million hospital stays among adults ages 55 to 64. This cost $55.9 billion, or 16 percent of total hospital costs in the United States, the agency said. What's more, the number of people in this age group should shoot up 18 percent between 2010 and 2020, an exploding growth curve that could just about swamp the healthcare system.

Stays for this class of adults were similar to the elderly when length of stay, costs and percentage of elective stays were taken into account. Of note for hospital finance types: most of these adults were covered by public or private insurance, and were less likely than middle-agers to be uninsured.

To get more of these statistics:
- read the AHRQ report