News | September 18, 2012

Rising Cost of Inpatient Care Linked to Medical Devices, Not Imaging

Supplies and devices, such as stents, accounted for the largest proportion of hospital inpatient cost increases between 2001 and 2006.

MRI Systems Clinical Trial/Study Stents Cath Lab Health Service Research

September 18, 2012 — Inpatient hospital treatment accounts for the largest proportion of healthcare spending in the United States, with the use of diagnostic imaging services such as magnetic resonance images (MRIs) frequently implicated as the probable cause. A new analysis finds that the biggest expense may not be from imaging technology, but from supplies including medical devices, such as stents and artificial joints.

“One of the takeaway messages for hospitals is that they should examine their own data in closer detail to explore the costs that are rapidly rising and have a better understanding for the underlying reasons,” said lead author Jared Lane Maeda, Ph.D., of Truven Health Analytics in Washington, D.C.

The study — released in Health Services Research — used the 2001 and 2006 Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project State Inpatient Databases and Medicare Cost Reports for community, non-rehabilitation hospitals in nine states. The researchers conducted a cost analysis on more than 10.2 million patient discharges for various conditions.

At 24.2 percent of costs, “supplies and devices,” (defined as the “supply items required for patient care”) were the leading contributors to the increase in average cost per discharge. Intensive care unit charges contributed 17.6 percent, and room and board for a semi-private room was 11.3 percent. Imaging, such as computed tomography (CT) scans, and other advanced technological services contributed just 4.9 percent. The significant growth in the mean cost per discharge of supplies and devices suggests they should be examined more closely.

Caroline Steinberg, vice president of Trends Analysis for the American Hospital Association, said the group supports comparative effectiveness research to determine whether new drugs and devices are both clinically and cost effective. “This is an area where more research is needed,” she added. “And as for increased use of the intensive care unit, that is consistent with the trend towards older and sicker patients.”

Maeda added that payers might consider negotiating discounts in areas of care and cost that are growing quickly.

For more information: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/(ISSN)1475-6773/

Related Content

Novel Technique May Significantly Reduce Breast Biopsies
News | Breast Biopsy Systems | January 17, 2019
A novel technique that uses mammography to determine the biological tissue composition of a tumor could help reduce...
Digital Mammography Increases Breast Cancer Detection
News | Mammography | January 16, 2019
The shift from film to digital mammography increased the detection of breast cancer by 14 percent overall in the United...
Artificial Intelligence Used in Clinical Practice to Measure Breast Density
News | Artificial Intelligence | January 15, 2019
An artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm measures breast density at the level of an experienced mammographer,...
Machine Learning Uncovers New Insights Into Human Brain Through fMRI
News | Neuro Imaging | January 11, 2019
An interdisciplinary research team led by scientists from the National University of Singapore (NUS) has successfully...
Mobile App Data Collection Shows Promise for Population Health Surveys
News | Population Health | January 10, 2019
Mobile app data collection can bring access to more potential clinical study participants, reduce clinical study...
Hypertension With Progressive Cerebral Small Vessel Disease Increases Cognitive Impairment Risk
News | Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) | January 08, 2019
Patients with high blood pressure and progression of periventricular white matter hyperintensities showed signs of...
Artificial Intelligence Pinpoints Nine Different Abnormalities in Head Scans

A brain scan (left) showing an intraparenchymal hemorrhage in left frontal region and a scan (right) of a subarachnoid hemorrhage in the left parietal region. Both conditions were accurately detected by the Qure.ai tool. Image courtesy of Nature Medicine.

News | Artificial Intelligence | January 07, 2019
The rise in the use of computed tomography (CT) scans in U.S. emergency rooms has been a well-documented trend1 in...
Electronic Brachytherapy Effective in Long-Term Study of 1,000 Early-Stage Breast Cancers
News | Brachytherapy Systems, Women's Healthcare | January 07, 2019
Breast cancer recurrence rates of patients treated with intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT) using the Xoft Axxent...
Brachytherapy Alone Superior Treatment for Intermediate-Risk Prostate Cancer
News | Brachytherapy Systems | January 04, 2019
Patient-reported outcomes (PROs) indicated a significantly different clinician and patient-reported late toxicity...
Breast Cancer Patients Have Less Heart Damage With Heart Drug and Trastuzumab
News | Cardio-oncology | January 03, 2019
Breast cancer patients who take a heart drug at the same time as trastuzumab have less heart damage, according to a...