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Finance The 35 most expensive reasons you might have to visit a hospital in the US — and how much it costs if you do

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Heart diseases account for some of the most expensive health conditions for patients who have to stay in the hospital.

Staying in a hospital bed can be costly. play

Staying in a hospital bed can be costly.

(Robert Ray/AP)

  • Hospital stays are expensive — adding up to more than $384.5 billion a year in the US, according to recent data.
  • The average hospital stay costs over $10,000, but the amount varies widely depending on the medical condition.
  • The top 35 most expensive conditions account for more than 70% of all hospital costs in the US.


Any hospital visit can be scary — and frighteningly expensive.

The average hospital stay in the US costs just over $10,700, based on an analysis of recent data from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP).

Using the 2014 National Impatient Survey from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, HCUP found the hospital visits and costs associated with different medical conditions classified by the Clinical Classifications Software principal diagnosis category. In total, there were 35.4 million hospital stays with an aggregate cost of $384.5 billion.

Routine childbirth accounted for the most stays — over 3.8 million — but is a relatively low-cost hospital trip compared to other conditions at $3,600. Of all hospital stays billed to Medicaid, 23.1% fell in this category.

The 35 most expensive conditions accounted for 70% of all hospital costs in the US. Septicemia — also called sepsis, a life-threatening reaction to an infection — created the greatest total cost at $27 billion. But, because of the large number of patients treated for the condition, it did not have the highest average cost per treatment. Heart and lung conditions also show up frequently when looking at the most expensive illnesses.

Who paid the hospital bill tells a different story, and is an important piece of the national debate on health care. Medicare covered 46% of that cost, with Medicaid pitching in 17%. Private insurance paid for 28% of the cost, while 5% went to patients who were uninsured.

In addition to what patients are going to the hospital for, where they are can also affect costs. A trip to the hospital in the US can vary a great deal based on where you live.

We went through the 50 conditions with the highest total hospital cost and found the average cost per hospital stay based on how many visits were made for each condition. These are the 35 conditions with the highest average cost:

35. Pancreatic disorders

Holmes' attitude toward secrecy was borrowed from a Silicon Valley hero of hers: Steve Jobs. Holmes started wearing black turtlenecks like Jobs, decorated her office with his favorite furniture, and like Jobs, never took vacations. play

Holmes' attitude toward secrecy was borrowed from a Silicon Valley hero of hers: Steve Jobs. Holmes started wearing black turtlenecks like Jobs, decorated her office with his favorite furniture, and like Jobs, never took vacations.

(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Acute pancreatitis, chronic pancreatitis, hereditary pancreatitis, and pancreatic cancer are several of the more common disorders that lead to digestive problems in the pancreas.

Average cost per stay: $9,727

Percent of all US hospital stays: 0.9%



34. Pneumonia

34. Pneumonia play

34. Pneumonia

(David Goldman/AP)

Pneumonia is a lung condition — an infectious inflammation of the air sacs.

Average cost per stay: $9,793

Percent of all US hospital stays: 2.5%



33. Diabetes mellitus with complications

33. Diabetes mellitus with complications play

33. Diabetes mellitus with complications

(AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

Conditions that occur from poor treatment of diabetes are wide-ranging, from vascular diseases, blindness, and chronic kidney disease.

Average cost per stay: $9,850

Percent of all US hospital stays: 1.5%



32. Diverticulosis and diverticulitis

32. Diverticulosis and diverticulitis play

32. Diverticulosis and diverticulitis

(China Photos/Getty)

Diverticulosis is the presence of bulging pouches in the digestive track and diverticulitis occurs when the pouches become inflamed or infected.

Average cost per stay: $10,169

Percent of all US hospital stays: 0.8%



31. Cardiac dysrhythmias

31. Cardiac dysrhythmias play

31. Cardiac dysrhythmias

(Wikimedia Commons)

Cardiac dysrhythmia is the medical term for an irregular heartbeat.

Average cost per stay: $10,191

Percent of all US hospital stays: 1.9%



30. Intestinal obstruction without hernia

30. Intestinal obstruction without hernia play

30. Intestinal obstruction without hernia

(Jonathan Bachman/AP)

Intestinal obstruction is a food or liquid blockage that may be caused by Crohn's Disease, colon cancer, or other diseases.

Average cost per stay: $10,944

Percent of all US hospital stays: 1.0%



29. Congestive heart failure

29. Congestive heart failure play

29. Congestive heart failure

(David J. Phillip/AP)

Congestive heat failure is the inability to pump an adequate amount of blood through the body and can be caused by many diseases.

Average cost per stay: $11,500

Percent of all US hospital stays: 2.5%



28 . Other nervous system disorders

28 . Other nervous system disorders play

28 . Other nervous system disorders

(Courtesy of The University Of Louisville)

Trauma, infections, and tumors are some of the many conditions that afflict the brain, spine, nerves, eyes, ears, or other parts of the nervous system.

Average cost per stay: $11,538

Percent of all US hospital stays: 0.7%



27. Other gastrointestinal disorders

27. Other gastrointestinal disorders play

27. Other gastrointestinal disorders

(AP)

Food allergies, lactose intolerance, and celiac disease are some of the many disorders that harm functionality of the stomach and intestines.

Average cost per stay: $11,564

Percent of all US hospital stays: 0.6%



26. Pulmonary heart disease

26. Pulmonary heart disease play

26. Pulmonary heart disease

(Joe Raedle/Getty)

A high blood pressure that affects lung arteries and the right side of your heart results in pulmonary hypertension.

Average cost per stay: $11,564

Percent of all US hospital stays: 0.5%



25. Biliary tract disease

25. Biliary tract disease play

25. Biliary tract disease

(Charles Rex Arbogast/AP)

Biliary diseases are a group of conditions that affect the biliary system — including gallstones and pancreatitis.

Average cost per stay: $11,764

Percent of all US hospital stays: 1.1%



24. Hypertension with complications and secondary hypertension

24. Hypertension with complications and secondary hypertension play

24. Hypertension with complications and secondary hypertension

(Jeff Roberson/AP)

Unlike pulmonary hypertension (heart disease), secondary hypertension is high blood pressure caused by another medical condition.

Average cost per stay: $12,164

Percent of all US hospital stays: 0.7%



23. Other nutritional, endocrine, and metabolic disorders

23. Other nutritional, endocrine, and metabolic disorders play

23. Other nutritional, endocrine, and metabolic disorders

(Donna McWilliam/AP)

Osteoporosis, cystic fibrosis, and obesity are major diseases related to glands and metabolism.

Average cost per stay: $12,173

Percent of all US hospital stays: 0.6%



22. Complications of surgical procedures or medical care

22. Complications of surgical procedures or medical care play

22. Complications of surgical procedures or medical care

(Reuters)

Any side effect of surgery or a basic medical procedure is included here.

Average cost per stay: $13,565

Percent of all US hospital stays: 1.3%



21. Rehabilitation care, fitting of prostheses, and adjustment of devices

21. Rehabilitation care, fitting of prostheses, and adjustment of devices play

21. Rehabilitation care, fitting of prostheses, and adjustment of devices

(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Rehabilitation includes "services that help you keep, get back, or improve skills and functioning for daily living that have been lost or impaired because you were sick, hurt, or disabled."

Average cost per stay: $13,877

Percent of all US hospital stays: 1.1%



20. Other fractures

20. Other fractures play

20. Other fractures

(Flickr / Sandor Weisz)

This category includes broken bones that are not in their own category such as skull breaks.

Average cost per stay: $14,149

Percent of all US hospital stays: 0.6%



19. Abdominal hernia

19. Abdominal hernia play

19. Abdominal hernia

(Christopher Furlong/Getty)

A hernia is the protrusion of an organ through tissue and often occurs by the pelvic floor or abdominal wall.

Average cost per stay: $14,447

Percent of all US hospital stays: 0.5%



18. Acute cerebrovascular disease

18. Acute cerebrovascular disease play

18. Acute cerebrovascular disease

(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Cerebrovascular disease impacts the blood flow in the brain and often results in strokes.

Average cost per stay: $15,378

Percent of all US hospital stays: 1.7%



17. Osteoarthritis

17. Osteoarthritis play

17. Osteoarthritis

(Denis Balibouse/Reuters)

Osteoarthritis — or degenerative joint disease — is the wearing down of tissue between joints.

Average cost per stay: $15,897

Percent of all US hospital stays: 3.0%



16. Maintenance chemotherapy, radiotherapy

16. Maintenance chemotherapy, radiotherapy play

16. Maintenance chemotherapy, radiotherapy

(Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

Chemo and radiation therapy are both types of cancer treatment.

Average cost per stay: $15,988

Percent of all US hospital stays: 0.4%



15. Fracture of neck of femur (hip)

15. Fracture of neck of femur (hip) play

15. Fracture of neck of femur (hip)

(Grandpa / Shutterstock.com)

Breaks in the neck of the femur are common among athletes and elderly individuals with osteoporosis.

Average cost per stay: $16,133

Percent of all US hospital stays: 0.9%



14. Peripheral and visceral atherosclerosis

14. Peripheral and visceral atherosclerosis play

14. Peripheral and visceral atherosclerosis

(Flickr/makelessnoise)

Atherosclerosis restricts blood flow to the heart by clogging of the inner walls of the arteries.

Average cost per stay: $16,771

Percent of all US hospital stays: 0.4%



13. Fracture of lower limb

13. Fracture of lower limb play

13. Fracture of lower limb

(Jeff Egnaczyk/flickr)

Broken hips, knees, tibias, ankles, and other lower body bones are included here.

Average cost per stay: $16,796

Percent of all US hospital stays: 0.6%



12. Secondary malignancies

12. Secondary malignancies play

12. Secondary malignancies

(Carlos Giusti/Getty)

New cancers that arrive as a result of treatment of a first cancer are described as secondary malignancies.

Average cost per stay: $17,163

Percent of all US hospital stays: 0.5%



11. Cancer of bronchus, lung

Walter White was diagnosed with lung cancer in the first episode of "Breaking Bad" play

Walter White was diagnosed with lung cancer in the first episode of "Breaking Bad"

(AMC)

Lung cancer — or bronchial carcinoma — is mainly caused by smoking.

Average cost per stay: $17,530

Percent of all US hospital stays: 0.4%



10. Respiratory failure, insufficiency, arrest (adult)

10. Respiratory failure, insufficiency, arrest (adult) play

10. Respiratory failure, insufficiency, arrest (adult)

(Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Respiratory failure and insufficiency happens when the lungs cannot produce enough oxygen or expel enough carbon dioxide. Respiratory arrest is the cessation of breathing.

Average cost per stay: $17,868

Percent of all US hospital stays: 1.2%



9. Septicemia

9. Septicemia play

9. Septicemia

(Elaine Thompson/AP)

Septicemia — or sepsis — is blood poisoning caused by a bacterial infection.

Average cost per stay: $18,031

Percent of all US hospital stays: 4.3%



8. Spondylosis, intervertebral disc disorders, other back problems

8. Spondylosis, intervertebral disc disorders, other back problems play

8. Spondylosis, intervertebral disc disorders, other back problems

(Andrea_44/Flickr)

Spondylosis refers to any degeneration of the spine. Invertebral disc disorders is the breakdown of the discs inbetween the bones of the spine.

Average cost per stay: $18,978

Percent of all US hospital stays: 1.5%



7. Intracranial injury

7. Intracranial injury play

7. Intracranial injury

(Paul Sancya/AP)

A traumatic brain injury is a serious blow to the head causing brain dysfunction.

Average cost per stay: $19,539

Percent of all US hospital stays: 0.6%



6. Complication of device, implant or graft

6. Complication of device, implant or graft play

6. Complication of device, implant or graft

(VCG/VCG via Getty Images)

Devices, implants, and grafts are placed in the body during surgery to correct a clinical condition.

Average cost per stay: $20,175

Percent of all US hospital stays: 1.8%



5. Acute myocardial infarction (heart attack)

5. Acute myocardial infarction (heart attack) play

5. Acute myocardial infarction (heart attack)

(Justin Sullivan/Getty)

Acute myocardial infarction is the medical name for a heart attack.

Average cost per stay: $20,246

Percent of all US hospital stays: 1.7%



4. Coronary atherosclerosis

4. Coronary atherosclerosis play

4. Coronary atherosclerosis

(AP)

Coronary atherosclerosis is a heart disease caused by plaque buildup in arteries, preventing proper blood flow.

Average cost per stay: $20,936

Percent of all US hospital stays: 1.1%



3. Aortic, peripheral, and visceral artery aneurysms

3. Aortic, peripheral, and visceral artery aneurysms play

3. Aortic, peripheral, and visceral artery aneurysms

(Kathy Willens/AP)

Aneurysms have different names depending on where the weakened artery is located.

Average cost per stay: $34,656

Percent of all US hospital stays: 0.2%



2. Heart valve disorders

2. Heart valve disorders play

2. Heart valve disorders

(Joe Raedle/Getty)

Heart valve disorders is a catch-all term for any illness stemming from the improper use of any of the four heart valves that controls blood flow.

Average cost per stay: $42,647

Percent of all US hospital stays: 0.4%



1. Cardiac and circulatory congenital anomalies

1. Cardiac and circulatory congenital anomalies play

1. Cardiac and circulatory congenital anomalies

(Don Ryan/AP)

Congenital heart disease and heart murmurs are among this group of heart and lung problems.

Average cost per stay: $63,460

Percent of all US hospital stays: 0.1%