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Hospital Charges for Back Care Have Nearly Doubled

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AHRQ News and Numbers

Release Date: September 13, 2005

The average hospital charge for Americans treated for disc disorders and other back problems nearly doubled between 1993 and 2003—from $13,200 to $25,300—according to the Federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The statistics are adjusted for inflation and do not include physicians' fees.

  • While hospital charges were increasing, the time back patients had to stay in the hospital was falling—from an average of nearly 5 days in 1993 to about 3 days in 2003.
  • Between 1993 and 2003, the number of hospital admissions for back problems increased from 528,000 to 658,000.


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