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Treating Americans With Diabetes Cost Hospitals $83 Billion

AHRQ News and Numbers, August 13, 2010

AHRQ News and Numbers provides statistical highlights on the use and cost of health services and health insurance in the United States.

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.

The Federal agency'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. The report uses statistics from the 2008 Nationwide Impatient Sample, a part of AHRQ's Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP).

For other information, or to speak with an AHRQ data expert, please contact Jennifer Felsher at or call (301) 427-1859.

Current as of August 2010
Internet Citation: Treating Americans With Diabetes Cost Hospitals $83 Billion: AHRQ News and Numbers, August 13, 2010. August 2010. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.


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


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