Admissions for patients without coverage have jumped a third since 1997, study shows
THURSDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Between 1997 and 2006, hospital admissions for uninsured Americans rose by 34 percent, from 1.7 million to 2.2 million stays, a new report finds.
The increase is more than double the 14 percent rise in overall hospital admissions during that same period, according to a just-released report by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
In the South and Northeast, uninsured hospital admissions increased by 39 percent and 26 percent, respectively, while they decreased by nearly 20 percent in the Midwest and remained stable in the West.
The report also said that the cost for treating uninsured patients increased 76 percent between 1997 and 2006, from $11,000 to $19,400 per patient, after adjusting for inflation. During that same time, there was a 69 percent increase in hospital charges overall.
Several conditions were major contributors to the significant increase in uninsured hospitalizations:
The report is based on the Trends in Uninsured Hospital Stays, 1997-2006 study, which uses statistics from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample, a database of hospital inpatient stays.
The American College of Emergency Physicians explains how uninsured patients can access medical care.
-- Robert Preidt
SOURCE: U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, news release, Feb. 18, 2009
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