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Medicare and Medicaid Pay Nearly 85 Percent of the National Hospital Bill for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

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AHRQ News and Numbers

Release Date: November 1, 2005

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)—a condition associated with smoking and therefore largely preventable—was the 5th most common cause of hospitalization for Americans over 65 years of age in 2003. COPD cost Medicare roughly $6.6 billion or nearly two-thirds of the total national hospital bill of more than $10.2 billion for COPD, according to the Federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

  • Medicaid paid nearly $2 billion, or one-fifth of the total hospital bill for COPD.
  • Private health insurance plans paid $1.3 billion, or 13 percent of the bill.
  • Hospital charges do not include physician fees.
  • Overall, COPD accounted for more than 620,000 hospitals stays in U.S. community hospitals.


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