Health Information Management

News: Most costly diagnoses mirror CDI focus areas

CDI Strategies, October 24, 2013

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In a statistical brief released this August, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) ranked septicemia the most expensive condition treated in the United States—in all hospitals, for all payers. In total, the report estimated the cost at $20.3 billion, or 5.2% of the total national cost.

The report ranked several other frequently queried diagnoses in its top 20 list including:

  • acute myocardial infarction (AMI) which ranked fifth, costing $11.5 billion
  • pneumonia which ranked seventh, coding $10.5 billion
  • congestive heart failure which ranked eighth, costing $10.5 billion
  • respiratory failure which ranked 10th, costing $8.7 billion
The top five conditions—septicemia, complications of device, liveborn, and AMI—accounted for a fifth of all hospitalization costs, according to the report which examined hospital data from CMS’ National Health Expenditure Accounts for the 2011 calendar year. The report looked at more than 38 million hospital stays which cost an aggregate of $387 billion, 53% of which was paid for by Medicare and Medicaid.

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