The High Cost Of Treating Americans With Diabetes

Data gathered from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) shows that US hospitals have spent $83 billion caring for diabetic patients in 2008. in the same year, about one in five hospitalizations involved a patient with diabetes.

The amount mentioned is 23 percent of what hospitals in the US spent overall to treat all conditions in 2008. This includes costs associated with 540,000 diabetes related hospital stays and around 7.2 million stays for patients with other conditions like heart ailments, kidney damage, infection or amputation in addition to diabetes. Here are some of the other data that the federal agency was able to come up with:

  • hospital stays for patients with diabetes cost hospitals about 25 percent more than for hospital stays for non-diabetic patients
  • Medicare took care of 60 percent of hospital stays for people with diabetes while private insurance and Medicaid took 23 percent and 10 percent, respectively. About 4 percent of the admitted patients were uninsured.
  • in terms of area in the US, the West had the lowest hospitalization rate for diabetes (1,866) per 100,000 while the South had the highest rate at 2,829 per 100,000.
  • data on other related conditions possibly associated with diabetes included 42 percent of hospital stays for congestive heart failure, 38 percent for hardening of arteries, 34 percent of heart attack cases, and 31percent for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Around 29 percent of hospital stays for chest pains with no specific cause involved patients with diabetes.

The data supplied by AHRQ were based on Hospital Stays for Patients with Diabetes, 2008.



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