Highest Average Expenses for Common Conditions

AHRQ Stats: Highest Average Expenses for Common Conditions

For the nine most commonly treated conditions among U.S. adults in 2013, the highest average expenses per person were for the treatment of heart conditions ($3,794 per person), trauma-related disorders ($3,070) and diabetes ($2,565). (Source: AHRQ, Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Statistical Brief #487: Expenditures for Commonly Treated Conditions among Adults Age 18 and Older in the U.S. Civilian Noninstitutionalized Population, 2013.)


Today’s Headlines:


Increased Physical Activity for Kids Would Have Health and Economic Benefits

If half of U.S. children 8 to 11 years old got the recommended amount of physical activity, the proportion of children who are overweight or obese would decrease by 4 percent, according to new research funded partially by AHRQ. This would save $8 billion in annual medical costs associated with obesity-related conditions, researchers concluded. Having this same 50 percent of kids receive the recommended amount of exercise would also avert approximately $14 billion in annual lost productivity costs over their lifetimes, researchers concluded. The article in the May issue of Health Affairs estimated that only 32 percent of children currently get recommended amount of exercise, which consists of 25 minutes of high-calorie-burning physical activity three times a week. The study authors concluded that increasing children’s physical activity should be a higher national priority, in part because possible savings substantially outweigh the costs of interventions promoting increased physical activity. Access the abstract.


Highlights From AHRQ’s Patient Safety Network

AHRQ’s Patient Safety Network (PSNet) highlights journal articles, books and tools related to patient safety. Articles featured this week include:

Review additional new publications in PSNet’s current issue or access recent cases and commentaries in AHRQ’s WebM&M (Morbidity and Mortality Rounds on the Web).


Nearly 6 of 10 Hospital-Based Surgeries in 2014 Occurred in Outpatient Settings

In 2014, 58 percent of the nation’s 17.2 million hospital-based surgical visits took place in outpatient settings, according to a new AHRQ statistical brief. The report from AHRQ’s Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project helps to quantify ongoing shifts toward more outpatient and fewer inpatient hospital-based surgical procedures. Among the most common outpatient surgeries in 2014 were lens and cataract procedures (nearly 100 percent performed in outpatient settings), cartilage removal in the knee (99 percent), tonsillectomy (96 percent), peripheral nerve decompression (95 percent), and hernia repair (92 percent). Private insurance was the most common payer for ambulatory surgery visits, while Medicare was the most common payer among inpatient surgical stays. For more data on inpatient and outpatient hospital-based surgery trends, access the statistical brief.


Study Questions Whether High-Priced Providers Deliver Higher-Quality Care

Patients who received care at higher-priced physician practices rated those practices higher than their lower-priced counterparts on measures of care coordination and management, according to an AHRQ-funded article published in the May issue of Health Affairs. However, patients’ evaluations were similar on overall care and services such as mammography, vaccinations or diabetes treatment, no matter the price, the research found. Authors defined higher-priced practices as those that charged 36 percent higher than lower-priced practices—on average about $84 for an office visit for a medium-complexity patient for higher-priced practices versus about $62 for the same type of patient visit at a lower-priced practice. The authors concluded that the findings suggest a weak relationship between practices’ prices and the quality and efficiency of care they provide. This research was funded by AHRQ’s Comparative Health System Performance Initiative, which studies how health care delivery systems promote evidence-based practices and patient-centered outcomes research in delivering care. Access the abstract.

Author: connie dello buono

Health educator, author and enterpreneur motherhealth@gmail.com or conniedbuono@gmail.com ; cell 408-854-1883 Helping families in the bay area by providing compassionate and live-in caregivers for homebound bay area seniors. Blogs at www.clubalthea.com Developing a new site, www.avatarcare.net , for early cancer detection using genetics tests, telemedicine with electronic appointment scheduling with doctors, video chat with doctors, matching care providers with health consumers and a health concierge for all to reduce chronic care cost, find cancer cure and coordinate health care using predictive medicine and participatory.

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