Trends and Projections in U.S. Hospital Costs by Patient Age, 2003-2013 Statistical Brief #176
Hospital costs for mental health care increased most rapidly from 2003 to 2011 for adults age 18 to 64, and this trend is projected to continue. (Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Statistical Brief #176: Trends and Projections in U.S. Hospital Costs by Patient Age, 2003-2013.)
Trends and Projections in U.S. Hospital Costs by Patient Age, 2003-2013
Audrey J. Weiss, Ph.D., Marguerite L. Barrett, M.S., and Roxanne M. Andrews, Ph.D.
- Between 2003 and 2011, aggregate inflation-adjusted hospital costs grew for all age groups, with 2.1 percent average annual growth overall. Costs are projected to continue to increase through 2013, but at a slower rate. Overall, this cost growth is driven by growth in the average cost per discharge, with virtually no growth in the number of discharges.
- Among patients aged 0-17 years, inflation-adjusted aggregate hospital costs from 2003-2011 increased substantially for surgeries but decreased for injury hospitalizations. These aggregate costs are projected to increase for all types of hospitalizations through 2013, driven primarily by increases in the costs per discharge.
- For all types of hospitalizations, adults aged 18-64 years experienced increases in aggregate hospital costs from 2003-2011 and for projected costs through 2013. This growth was highest for mental health, which had growth in the number of discharges and the costs per discharge.
- Among adults aged 65 years and older, aggregate hospital costs increased for all types of hospitalizations from 2003-2011, with injury showing the most rapid growth. Growth in aggregate costs was driven largely by growth in costs per discharge and only slightly by growth in discharges. Surgery was a notable exception, where discharges fell slightly.
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