Septicemia still tops the list of most expensive inpatient conditions

Septicemia continues to top a list of the most expensive inpatient conditions, according to a new report from the Association for Healthcare Research and Quality’s Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project.

In 2013, 35.6 million hospital stays cost providers $381.4 billion in aggregate, the report found.

The five most expensive conditions accounted for about 20 percent of these costs, with the top 20 conditions representing nearly half of aggregate costs. Medicare and Medicaid were the primary payers for 63 percent of aggregate hospital costs, compared to 28 percent for private insurance and 5 percent for uninsured stays, according to the AHRQ report.

The most expensive inpatient conditions for hospitals are:

  1. Septicemia--$23.6 billion in aggregate costs
  2. Osteoarthritis--$16.5 billion in aggregate costs
  3. Livebirth-- $13.3 billion in aggregate costs
  4. Complication from grafts, implantation or device--$12.4 billion in aggregate costs
  5. Acute myocardial infarction--$12.1 billion in aggregate costs 

Among the conditions studied, seven made the report's top 20 most expensive across all four payer groups: septicemia, implantation/device/graft complications, respiratory failure, congestive heart failure, pneumonia, acute myocardial infarction and acute cerebrovascular disease.

Three years ago, the list of the most expensive conditions was similar, but septicemia costs have increased about $3 billion while livebirth has overtaken implantation/graft/device complications.

- here’s the report