To demonstrate a refined cost‐estimation method that converts detailed charges for inpatient stays into costs at the department level to enable analyses that can unravel the sources of rapid growth in inpatient costs.
ealthcare ost and tilization roject tate npatient atabases and edicare ost eports for all community, nonrehabilitation hospitals in nine states that reported detailed charges in 2001 and 2006 ( = 10,280,416 discharges).
We examined the cost per discharge across all discharges and five subgroups (medical, surgical, congestive heart failure, septicemia, and osteoarthritis).
We created cost‐to‐charge ratios (s) for 13 cost‐center or department‐level buckets using the edicare ost eports. We mapped service‐code‐level charges to a with an internally developed crosswalk to estimate costs at the service‐code level.
were leading contributors (24.2 percent) to the increase in mean cost per discharge across all discharges. and charges also substantially contributed (17.6 percent and 11.3 percent, respectively). Imaging and other advanced technological services were not major contributors (4.9 percent).
Payers and policy makers may want to explore hospital stay costs that are rapidly rising to better understand their increases and effectiveness.
Data Collection/Extraction Methods