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Multiple Chronic Conditions Drive Significant Health Costs

Patients with multiple chronic conditions (MCCs) had hospital costs that were more than 19 percent higher than costs for patients with one or no chronic conditions, according to a recent Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) study. Researchers determined higher costs were driven by longer hospital stays rather than by higher costs per day.

The authors of the study used AHRQ's 2012 Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project's State Inpatient Databases to analyze more than 1.4 million hospital discharge records. Hospital costs for ambulatory care conditions were 19 percent higher for patients with two or three chronic conditions, 32 percent higher for those with four or five chronic conditions and 31 percent higher for those with six or more chronic conditions.

The findings suggest that some of the benefit anticipated in reduced preventable hospitalizations may be offset by cost increases driven by a rise in multiple chronic conditions. The article, “The Effects of Multiple Chronic Conditions on Hospitalization Costs and Utilization for Ambulatory Care Sensitive Conditions in the United States: A Nationally Representative Cross-Sectional Study,” appeared in BMC Health Services Research.

For a full copy of the study packed with valuable insights for healthcare management and claim professionals, please click here >>

By Robert J. Blackburn, Managing Principal, Blackburn Group, Inc., contact him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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