Cost of hospitalizations for heart failure: Sodium retention versus other decompensating factors

Susan J. Bennett, Robert M. Saywell, Terrell W. Zollinger, Gertrude A. Huster, Carolyn E. Ford, Milton L. Pressler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To determine the cost of heart failure-related hospital admissions and to compare the cost of admissions for sodium retention with the cost of admissions for other decompensating factors. DESIGN: Retrospective, non-experimental, cost analysis. SETTING: Midwestern university-affiliated, tertiary care, medical center. SAMPLE: Two hundred seven heart failure-related admissions, 117 (57%) of which were for sodium retention leading to volume overload. OUTCOME MEASURES: Cost of hospitalization. PROCEDURE: Data obtained from the patient and financial records of patients hospitalized for heart failure in 1992 were analyzed using the ratio of cost-to-charge accounting procedure. RESULTS: The total cost was $2,442,720 for the 207 heart failure-related admissions; the average cost was 12,400 admission. Approximately cost hospitalizations expended in the 4 cost centers comprising routine and critical care services, which incorporate room charges and nursing care. Another one third of the cost was for supplies, medications, and laboratory tests. Admissions as a result of sodium retention had lower costs than admissions as a result of other factors. CONCLUSION: The cost of hospitalization for heart failure is high. Routine services, supplies, medications, and laboratory tests used by these patients contribute to the high cost of care. Improved outpatient management strategies are necessary to reduce hospital admissions as a result of sodium retention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)102-109
Number of pages8
JournalHeart and Lung: Journal of Acute and Critical Care
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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