The hidden costs of treating severely ill patients: charges and resource consumption in an intensive care unit.
Wagner, Douglas P
Date of Pub
Knaus, William A; Wineland, Thomas D
A detailed survey of the resources used by two common groups of intensive care unit (ICU) admissions in one medical center
hospital found substantial cross-subsidization, with healthier patients admitted for monitoring using significantly less labor
resources than sicker patients. Both groups had equal bed charges. This suggests that the resource costs of admitting stable
patients to an ICU for monitoring are smaller than their average bed charge. On the other hand, the actual resource costs
of treating sicker patients are almost twice their billed ICU charges. ICU care is approximately 3.8 times more expensive
than routine hospital care, a higher ratio than previously estimated. These results should be considered when estimating the
national cost of treating severely ill patients and when proposing changes in hospital reimbursement policies, especially
with regard to ICU patients.
Ancillary Services, Hospital/economics : Diagnosis-Related Groups : District of Columbia : Fees and Charges : Hospital Bed
Capacity, 500 and over : Intensive Care Units/economics : Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S. : Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.