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1 in 5 Hospitalizations Involve Diabetes Patients

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, August 16, 2010

Nearly one in five hospitalizations in 2008 involved patients with diabetes, according to a federal report. The cost of caring for those patients was $83 billion for 7.7 million stays, or nearly one in four dollars of hospital costs that year, a report from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality says.

The report also says that the average or mean cost of caring for that hospitalization was $10,937, nearly $2,200 more than the cost of a stay for a patient without a diagnosis of diabetes.

"Diabetes increases length of stay and therefore increases cost regardless of whether it is the primary reason for admission," the report states. "Patients with diabetes were, on average, much older than patients without diabetes, 65 vs 45)."

Patients with diabetes were more likely to be admitted to the hospital through the emergency department than patients without diabetes (72% for all stays involving patients in which diabetes was the principal reason for their hospitalization, 61% for all stays involving patients with diabetes and 42% for patients without diabetes.)

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