Charges for Alcoholic Cirrhosis Exceed All Other Etiologies of Cirrhosis Combined: A National and State Inpatient Survey Analysis
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Inpatient charges for patients with cirrhosis are substantial. We aimed to examine trends in inpatient charges among patients with cirrhosis to determine the drivers of healthcare expenditures. We hypothesized that alcoholic cirrhosis (AC) was a significant contributor to overall expense.
We performed a retrospective analysis of the Health Care Utilization Project Nationwide Inpatient Sample Database 2002–2014 (annual cross-sectional data) and New York and Florida State Inpatient Databases 2010–2012 (longitudinal data). Adult patients with cirrhosis of the liver were categorized as AC versus all other etiologies of cirrhosis combined. Patient characteristics were analyzed using ordinary least squares regression modeling. A random effects model was used to evaluate 30-day readmissions.
In total, 1,240,152 patients with cirrhosis were admitted between 2002 and 2014. Of these, 567,510 (45.8%) had a diagnosis of AC. Total charges for AC increased by 95.7% over the time period, accounting for 59.9% of all inpatient cirrhosis-related charges in 2014. Total aggregate charges for AC admissions were $28 billion and increased from $1.4B in 2002 to $2.8B by 2014. In the NIS and SID, patients with AC were younger, white and male. Readmission rates at 30, 60, and 90 days were all higher among AC patients.
Inpatient charges for cirrhosis care are high and increasing. Alcohol-related liver disease accounts for more than half of these charges and is driven by sheer volume of admissions and readmissions of the same patients. Effective alcohol addictions therapy may be the most cost-effective way to substantially reduce inpatient cirrhosis care expenditures.
KeywordsAlcohol Charges Costs Cirrhosis Burden
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
Nationwide Inpatient Sample
Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
State Inpatient Database
International Classification of Diseases, 9th Revision, Clinical Modification
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors have no relevant conflicts to disclose.
- 9.HCUP Nationwide Inpatient Survey (NIS). 2002–2010. www.hcup-us.ahrq.gov/nisoverview.jsp. Accessed 2 May 2017.