January 24, 2014

Average $10,000 Cost Per Hospital Stay

In 2011, the total cost for all hospital stays in the U.S. was $387.3 billion, according to a recent statistical brief by the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.  The average cost per stay was $10,000.  As used in the report, costs include “the actual expenses incurred in the production of hospital services, such as wages, supplies, and utility costs.” 

Among other things, the report also noted the following (all figures are for 2011):
  • Adults aged 45-84 years accounted for almost 2/3 of total hospital costs and had the highest average costs per hospital stay ($12,500 for the 45-64 age group and $12,600 for the 65-84 group).
  • The average cost per stay for younger adults (age 18-44) was $7,400.
  • 47% of total hospital costs were billed to Medicare, 29% were billed to private insurers, and 16% were billed to Medicaid.
  • The three diagnostic categories accounting for the most costs were circulatory conditions (18%), musculoskeletal conditions (14%), and respiratory conditions (11%).