Complications account for nearly 10 percent of inpatient hospital costs.
Potentially Preventable Complications (PPC) increased lengths of stay for inpatient admissions resulting in dramatically increased total costs of care. A study of 3 hospitals for two 9 month periods showed that two PPCs — urinary tract infection and pneumonia – experienced substantially longer inpatient stays than those who did not suffer from these PPCs. Patients with a PPC of urinary tract infection stayed a mean of 8.9 – 11.9 days or 161 – 216 percent longer than those who did not for the two time periods. This increased stay produced 2,020 – 2,427 additional patient days. Patients with a PPC of pneumonia stayed a mean of 13.0 – 16.3 days or 232 – 281 percent longer than those who did not for the two time periods. This increased stay produced 2,626 – 3,456 additional patient days. The additional costs associated with just these two PPCs for just a 3 month time period was estimated to be between $2,000,000 – $3,000,000.
Lagoe, R., Johnson, P., Murphy, M., “Inpatient Hospital Complications and Lengths of Stay,” Short Report, BMC Research Notes, May, 2011.