Septicemia is the most expensive condition treated in U.S. hospitals, accounting for $23.7 billion in aggregate hospital costs in 2013, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Spending on septicemia represented 6.2% of the total cost for all hospitalizations in 2013. The rest of the five most expensive conditions were osteoarthritis ($16.5 billion); liveborn infants ($13.3 billion); complications of devices, implants, or grafts ($12.4 billion); and acute MI ($12.1 billion). These five conditions accounted for 20.5% of all U.S. hospital costs and 20.6% of all admissions, the AHRQ report noted.

Total hospital costs for the 35.6 million overall stays in 2013 were more than $381 billion. That figure represents hospitals’ cost to produce the services, not the amount covered by payers, and it does not include physician fees associated with hospitalizations, the agency said.

rfranki@frontlinemedcom.com

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