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Hospital Costs for Bone Marrow Transplants, Other Common Procedures Up Sharply

AHRQ News and Numbers, December 2, 2009

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

Hospital costs for bone marrow transplants shot up 85 percent from $694 million to $1.3 billion between 2004 and 2007 according to the latest News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

Data from AHRQ shows that 10 procedures experienced rapid cost increases between 2004 and 2007. About 75 percent of the rise was due to increases in the number of patients who underwent these procedures and 25 percent resulted from higher costs per case treated.

In addition to bone marrow transplantation, the procedures with the most rapid increases in hospital costs included:

  • Open surgery for noncancerous enlarged prostate—up 69 percent to $1 billion.
  • Aortic valve resection or replacement—up 38.5 percent to $1.9 billion.
  • Cancer chemotherapy—up 33 percent to $2.6 billion.
  • Spinal fusion—up 29.5 percent to $8.9 billion.
  • Lobectomy (a type of lung cancer surgery)—up 29 percent to $1.8 billion.
  • Incision and drainage of skin and other tissues—up 29 percent to $1 billion.
  • Knee surgery—up 27.5 percent to $9.2 billion.
  • Nephrostomy (surgery to allow urine to pass through the kidneys)—up 25 percent to $683 million.
  • Mastectomy (breast removal because of cancer)—up 24 percent to $660 million.

This AHRQ News and Numbers is based on data in Procedures with the Most Rapidly Increasing Hospital Costs, 2004-2007. The report uses statistics from the 2007 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.

For other information, or to speak with an AHRQ data expert, please contact Bob Isquith at or call (301) 427-1539.

Current as of December 2009
Internet Citation: Hospital Costs for Bone Marrow Transplants, Other Common Procedures Up Sharply: AHRQ News and Numbers, December 2, 2009. December 2009. 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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