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Updated report with national statistics on hospital stays-HCUP Facts and Figures, 2006-is available

The HCUP Facts and Figures, 2006, a report from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) on hospital-based care, is now available. This report is updated annually with statistics from the HCUP Nationwide Inpatient Sample.

This year's Facts and Figures report contains national statistics on hospital stays in the U.S. for 2006 and trends from 1993. In addition, each year the report provides insight into special topic areas. This year's topics include complications for C-section versus vaginal deliveries, depression, cancer, asthma, arthritis, and changes in procedure use over time. For example, a new analysis shows that hospital cost increases appear to be slowing. The cost of patient care in U.S. hospitals rose just under 1 percent between 2005 and 2006, much slower than the average 5.3 percent per year between 1997 and 2005, according to data. However, over the 9-year period from 1997 to 2006, the overall cost for stays in the hospital nearly doubled from $177 billion to $329 billion.

AHRQ's new analysis also found that:

  • Nearly half the increase in overall costs (47 percent) was due to the increased intensity of care in the hospital, such as increased use of procedures, technologies, and other interventions.
  • About one-third of the cost increases were due to inflation and 16 percent resulted from an increase in the number of patients due to population growth.

The findings suggest that rapid growth in the adoption of managed care plans and the shift to outpatient care have slowed the growth in the use of inpatient care. HCUP Facts and Figures, 2006 is a 65-page report that can be accessed from the Reports page of the HCUP User Support Web site, http://www.hcup-us.ahrq.gov/reports.jsp.

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