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New HCUP reports detail characteristics of hospitalizations in 2003
AHRQ has released two new statistical briefs from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP). These reports characterize hospitalizations among the uninsured, including costs and demographic information and identify conditions and the risk of death among men who are hospitalized.
The first report, HCUP Statistical Brief #7: Uninsured Hospitalizations, 2003, indicates that about 16.6 percent of the U.S. population was uninsured in 2003, but only 4.5 percent (1.7 million) of the approximately 38 million hospitalizations that year were uninsured. Hospital charges for uninsured patients in 2003 totaled $29 billion. Half of all uninsured hospital patients were between 18 and 44 years of age, compared with one-third of privately insured and Medicaid patients in this age range. Nearly 60 percent of uninsured hospital stays originated in the emergency department, compared with 31.8 percent for the privately insured and 39.3 percent for Medicaid patients. About 3.5 percent of uninsured patients left the hospital against medical advice—a rate 3 times higher than that for Medicaid patients and 7 times greater than that of privately insured patients.
The second report, HCUP Statistical Brief #9: Hospitalizations among Males, 2003, indicates that male hospital patients are more likely than female patients to have a number of serious conditions, including heart attack, alcohol-related mental disorders, alcohol-related liver disease, hepatitis, and injuries. The report also found that for each of these conditions, the rate of cases per 1,000 hospital stays was 50 percent higher or more for men than for women. For example, about 59 men per 1,000 hospital stays had alcohol abuse, compared with approximately 20 women. Men also had a higher risk of dying in the hospital with an in-hospital death rate 12 percent higher than that of female patients. Overall, nearly one in four hospital stays for men was for a heart or other circulatory system disorder, such as hardening of the arteries, congestive heart failure, heart attack, and irregular heart beat. In addition, certain conditions ranked higher among hospitalized men than among female patients. For example, heart attack ranked 4th among men, while among women it was the 12th leading condition.
The reports used statistics from HCUP's Nationwide Inpatient Sample, a database of hospital inpatient stays that is nationally representative of all short-term, non-federal hospitals. The data are drawn from hospitals that comprise 90 percent of all discharges in the United States and include all patients, regardless of insurance type as well as the uninsured. To view these reports, go to the HCUP Web site at http://www.hcup-us.ahrq.gov/reports/statbriefs.jsp.
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