HealthLeaders magazine, April 13, 2012
A look at 2009 hospital inpatient data reveals some interesting trends. While the number of hospital stays increased from 34.7 million in 1997 to 39.4 million in 2009 (a 14% increase overall), the rate of hospitalizations remained unchanged: There were 1,278 hospital stays for every 10,000 persons in the United States in 1997 and 1,284 stays per 10,000 persons in 2009. Over that same period, the aggregate inflation-adjusted costs for hospitalizations?the actual costs of producing hospital services?increased 57%. Costs rose from $229.6 billion to $361.5 billion?an average annual increase of 3.9%. Also, both uninsured and Medicaid stays increased 42% between 1997 and 2009, a growth rate three times that of all stays.