August 16, 2016

Hospital cost of surgery-related pressure ulcers

By: Judy Mathias

Editor's Note

This study found that hospital-acquired pressure ulcers add 44% to the cost of major surgical hospital stays, but the amount varies depending on length of stay.

Using data from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) State Inpatient Databases and the Medicare Patient Safety Monitoring System for 2011 and 2012, researchers found that 3.5% of major surgical patients developed hospital-acquired pressure ulcers, which added $8,200 (44%) to the cost of a surgical stay.

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The researchers also found that development of hospital-acquired pressure ulcers added $12,100 to high-cost stays and $3,900 to low-cost stays.


Background: Patients who develop hospital-acquired pressure ulcers (HAPUs) are more likely to die, have longer hospital stays, and are at greater risk of infections. Patients undergoing surgery are prone to developing pressure ulcers (PUs). Objective: To estimate the hospital marginal cost of a HAPU for adults patients who were hospitalized for major surgeries, adjusted for patient characteristics, comorbidities, procedures, and hospital characteristics.


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