Sunday, February 14, 2016

Hospital care for diabetes patients cost $83 billion

Almost one in four dollars spent by hospitals to care for patients in 2008 went toward treating patients with diabetes, according to the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Altogether hospitalized patients with a diagnosis of diabetes got $83 billion in care. Patients with diabetes cost hospitals 25 percent more than those without (an average of $10,937 for diabetics verses $8,746 for those without the illness).

Hospital care for diabetes patients cost $83 billion

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Almost one in four dollars spent by hospitals (23 percent) to care for patients in 2008 went toward treating patients with diabetes, according to the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Altogether hospitalized patients with a diagnosis of diabetes got $83 billion in care. Patients with diabetes cost hospitals 25 percent more than those without (an average of $10,937 for diabetics verses $8,746 for those without the illness).

About 7.2 million hospitalizations in 2007 were for diabetics with other conditions; 540,000 admissions were specifically for the condition. Diabetes accounted for 42 percent of hospitalized heart failure patients in 2008, 34 percent of those admitted for heart attacks, and 31 percent with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Medicare covered 60 percent of the diabetes patients, with the rest covered by private insurers (23 percent) and Medicaid (10 percent), according to the analysis. So, as the number of Americans with diabetes rises, the high cost of hospital care is a reason for concern for insurers, taxpayers and policy makers.

The study did not include the other costs of diabetic care such as medications, dialysis for kidney failure, and regular doctors’ appointments, which would add to the overall impact of diabetes of the nation’s health care bill.

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Check Up is a blog for savvy health consumers, covering the latest developments, discoveries, and debates from the Philadelphia area and beyond.

Portions of this blog may also be found in the Inquirer's Sunday Health Section.

Charlotte Sutton Health and Science Editor, Philadelphia Inquirer
Tom Avril Inquirer Staff Writer, heart health and general science
Stacey Burling Inquirer Staff Writer, neuroscience and aging
Marie McCullough Inquirer Staff Writer, cancer and women's health
Don Sapatkin Inquirer Staff Writer, public health
David Becker, M.D. Board certified cardiologist, Chestnut Hill Temple Cardiology
Michael R. Cohen, R.Ph. President, Institute for Safe Medication Practices
Daniel R. Hoffman, Ph.D. President, Pharmaceutical Business Research Associates
Hooman Noorchashm, M.D., Ph.D. Cardiothoracic surgeon in the Philadelphia area
Amy J. Reed, M.D., Ph.D. Anesthesiologist and Surgical Intensivist in the Philadelphia Area
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