Are Medicare Cost Containment Strategies Working?
Trends in hospital inpatient stays (2005-2014) show they are.
- Between 2005 and 2014, the inflation-adjusted mean cost per inpatient stay increased by 12.7 percent, from $9,500 to $10,900.
- Inflation-adjusted cost per stay for patients covered by private insurance or Medicaid increased 16-18 percent. Cost per stay for Medicare-covered patients and the uninsured changed minimally.
- The rate of inpatient stays decreased the most among patients in the highest income quartiles (15-20 percent decrease).
- The proportion of Medicaid-covered inpatient stays increased by 15.7 percent, whereas the proportion paid by private insurance and that were uninsured decreased by 12.5 and 13.0 percent, respectively.
- Mental health/substance use accounted for nearly 6 percent of all inpatient stays in 2014, up 20.1 percent from 2005.
- Between 2005 and 2014, septicemia and osteoarthritis became two of the five most common reasons for inpatient stays. Septicemia hospital stays almost tripled.
- Nonspecific chest pain and coronary atherosclerosis decreased by more than 60 percent from 2005 to 2014, falling off the list of top 10 reasons for hospitalization.
Source: Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project