Treating Americans with diabetes cost hospitals $83 billion

Research Activities, October 2010, No. 362

U.S. hospitals spent $83 billion in 2008 caring for people with diabetes, according to the latest News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). In that year, nearly one of every five hospitalizations involved a person with diabetes. This amount is 23 percent of what hospitals spent overall to treat all conditions in 2008. The expenditure included costs associated with more than 540,000 hospital stays specifically for diabetes and roughly 7.2 million stays for patients who had other conditions in addition to diabetes. For example, a person with diabetes may be admitted primarily for heart disease, kidney damage, infection, or foot or leg amputation.

AHRQ's analysis also shows that:

  • On average, hospital stays for people with diabetes cost hospitals 25 percent more than stays for people who did not have diabetes ($10,937 versus $8,746, respectively).
  • Medicare paid 60 percent of the hospital stays of people with diabetes; private insurance, 23 percent; and Medicaid, 10 percent. Some 4 percent of patients were uninsured.
  • About 42 percent of hospital stays for congestive heart failure, 38 percent for hardening of the arteries, 34 percent for heart attack, 31 percent for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and 29 percent for chest pain with no specific cause involved patients who also had diabetes.
  • The West had the lowest hospitalization rate for diabetes, 1,866 per 100,000 persons, while the South had the highest rate, 2,829 per 100,000 people.

This AHRQ News and Numbers is based on data in Hospital Stays for Patients with Diabetes, 2008 (http://www.hcup-us.ahrq.gov/reports/statbriefs/sb93.jsp). The report uses statistics from the 2008 Nationwide Impatient Sample, a part of AHRQ's Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project.

Current as of October 2010
Internet Citation: Treating Americans with diabetes cost hospitals $83 billion: Research Activities, October 2010, No. 362. October 2010. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://archive.ahrq.gov/news/newsletters/research-activities/oct10/1010RA27.html