Complications account for nearly 10 percent of inpatient hospital costs.

Potentially Preventable Complications (PPC) identify potentially preventable harmful events or negative outcomes originating during inpatient care that result from the processes of care and treatment rather than from the natural progression of underlying disease. PPCs containing 64 mutually exclusive types of inpatient complications that are identified from 1,450 ICD-9 secondary diagnosis codes – not present on admission as well as those from selected ICD-9 procedure codes were studied and it was concluded that PPCs add an estimated 9.4% – 9.7% to inpatient costs. With national estimates of inpatient hospital care costs totaling $940 billion in 2006 (American Hospital Association, 2008), the 9.4% estimate is indicative of an $88 billion issue for the nation.


Fuller, R., McCullough, E., Bao, M., Averill, R., “Estimating the Costs of Potentially Preventable Hospital Acquired Complications,” Health Care Finance Review, Summer 2009.