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By the Numbers: 3,000

From: The Hospitalist, May 2012

Approximate number of million-dollar hospitalization bills in Northern California hospitals in 2010.

by Larry Beresford

Approximate number of million-dollar hospitalization bills in Northern California hospitals in 2010, up from 430 a decade earlier, according to statistics from the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development.1 More than 20% of the giant bills—typically for complicated, life-saving procedures and lengthy hospital stays following critical illness or trauma—went to the parents of newborn babies with catastrophic illnesses. Organ transplants were also associated with extended hospital stays and million-dollar price tags.

Medical bills are a major factor in two-thirds of personal bankruptcy cases, although most of the largest bills will be lowered significantly, as much as 80%, after negotiations between hospitals and insurers.

Reference

  1. Reese P, Smith D. Million-dollar hospital bills rise sharply in Northern California. Sacramento Bee website. Available at: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/03/11/4328036/million-dollar-hospital-bills.html. Accessed March 29, 2012.

This copy is for your personal, noncommercial use only. No part of this article can be reproduced without the written permission of the publisher. Order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients, or customers by contacting our reprints department at reprints@wiley.com. Copyright © 2009 Society of Hospital Medicine, administered by John Wiley & Sons Inc.

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The Hospitalist newsmagazine reports on issues and trends in hospital medicine. The Hospitalist reaches more than 25,000 hospitalists, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, residents, and medical administrators interested in the practice and business of hospital medicine.

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ISSN: 1553-085X