Study: Hospital bills up 90 percent over past decade

Even when adjusted for inflation, hospital bills have increased by about 90 percent over the past 10 years, according to new data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The report, which analyzed data for 39 million hospital stays at facilities accounting for more than 90 percent of U.S. discharges, concluded that the national hospital bill grew by an average of 4.5 percent annually over the past several years. The biggest charge increases over time were for blood infections, nonspecific chest pain, respiratory failure, back pain and arthritis.

The costliest conditions treated included coronary-artery disease, pregnancy and delivery, newborn infant care, heart attack and congestive heart failure. Along the way, hospital care for uninsured patients accounted for $38 billion in charges, compared with $28 billion for those who were insured or had worker's comp coverage.

To get more data from the research:
- read this Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report piece

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