Skip Navigation U.S. Department of Health and Human Services www.hhs.gov
Agency for Healthcare Research Quality www.ahrq.gov
Archive print banner

Agency News and Notes

This information is for reference purposes only. It was current when produced and may now be outdated. Archive material is no longer maintained, and some links may not work. Persons with disabilities having difficulty accessing this information should contact us at: https://info.ahrq.gov. Let us know the nature of the problem, the Web address of what you want, and your contact information.

Please go to www.ahrq.gov for current information.

Patients' hospital bills jumped $70 billion in just one year

Hospital charges—what patients are billed for their rooms, nursing care, diagnostic tests, and other services—jumped from $873 billion in 2005 to $943 billion in 2006, according to data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The steep increase occurred even though hospital admissions increased only slightly, from 39.2 million to 39.5 million. Insured patients and their health plans pay less than the full charge, but uninsured patients are expected to pay the full amount.

Between 2005 and 2006, hospital charges increased by:

  • $38 billion to $44 billion—15 percent for people with no insurance.
  • $124 billion to $135 billion—9 percent for Medicaid patients.
  • $411 billion to $444 billion—8 percent for Medicare patients.
  • $272 billion to $287 billion—6 percent for patients with private insurance.

For more information, go to The National Bill: The Most Expensive Conditions by Payer, 2006, HCUP Statistical Brief #59 (http://www.hcup-us.ahrq.gov/reports/statbriefs.jsp).

The report uses statistics from the 2006 Nationwide Inpatient Sample, a database of hospital inpatient stays that is nationally representative of inpatient stays in 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.

Return to Contents
Proceed to Next Article

 

The information on this page is archived and provided for reference purposes only.

 

AHRQ Advancing Excellence in Health Care