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.)
- Increased Physical Activity for Kids Would Have Health and Economic Benefits
- Highlights From AHRQ’s Patient Safety Network
- Nearly 6 of 10 Hospital-Based Surgeries in 2014 Occurred in Outpatient Settings
- Study Questions Whether High-Priced Providers Deliver Higher-Quality Care
- New AHRQ Views Blog Post
- June 1 Deadline for Submitting an Abstract for the Diagnostic Error in Medicine 10th International Conference
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.
AHRQ’s Patient Safety Network (PSNet) highlights journal articles, books and tools related to patient safety. Articles featured this week include:
- Speaking up about traditional and professionalism-related patient safety threats: a national survey of interns and residents
- A national survey assessing the number of records allowed open in electronic health records at hospitals and ambulatory sites
- Quality of handoffs in community pharmacies
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.
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.