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New Analyses of Inpatient Hospital Stays Involving Hepatitis C, 2005 - 2014

New HHS/AHRQ analysis examines trends in the number and rate of hepatitis C-related inpatient hospital stays, underscoring increasing healthcare burden.

A new analysis of hepatitis C (HCV) inpatient hospitalization characteristics shows that the healthcare burden of HCV has increased in recent years. The study, from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s (AHRQ) Healthcare Costs and Utilization Project (HCUP), used national data to highlight trends in the number and rate of hepatitis C-related inpatient hospital stays among adults over 18 years of age, both with and without the co-morbidities of hepatitis B (HBV), HIV, and alcoholic liver disease. The analysis revealed that the average cost, length of stay, and in-hospital deaths were all higher for hospital stays involving HCV compared to those that did not involve HCV.

Key data from this important national study include:

  • From 2004-2011, the rate of hospitalizations associated with HCV increased by 190%, from 4.8 per 100,000 population to 13.8 per 100,000.
  • In 2014, hospital stays related to HCV were longer, cost more, and had a higher proportion of in-hospital death than stays that were not related to HCV.

Previous studies estimated that baby boomers–those born between 1945 and 1965–represent about 75% of all people with chronic HCV, so the AHRQ study details additional characteristics about this important group. The data reflect the higher infection rates among this group with about 503 inpatient stays involving HCV per 100,000 compared to 155 per 100,000 for adults aged 18-51, and 117 for adults aged 73 or greater, with a longer average length of stay and a higher proportion of in-hospital deaths. Baby boomers who were male, Black, or Hispanic and those with Medicaid as the expected payer had a higher proportion of stays related to HCV compared with stays without HCV.

Rate of Inpatient Stays per 100,000 Population

Read the full brief with additional analyses by clicking here.

The costly trends – in terms of both lives and price -- described in the AHRQ study underscore the importance of making best use of available tools to prevent new HCV infections, improve the lives of people living with viral hepatitis, and chart a course toward elimination of this public health threat.

Improving the health of people living with HCV and reducing viral hepatitis health disparities are goals of the National Viral Hepatitis Action Plan (Action Plan). The Action Plan is a strategic framework that highlights the commitment of more than 20 federal partners working together to fight viral hepatitis in partnership with states, counties, cities and hundreds of organizations around the country. To learn more, download the Action Plan and see how to get involved.

#HepC-related hospital stays higher in average cost, length of stay, & in-hospital deaths per new study by @AHRQNews. Read more from @HHS_ViralHep: https://go.usa.gov/xnG6N


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Health Insurance Reform