Avoid These 10 Most Costly Hospitalized Conditions

I recently reviewed an article that began:

“It’s no surprise to find septicemia (blood infection), myocardial infarction (heart attack), pneumonia, and congestive heart failure on a list of the most expensive medical conditions. They’re complex disorders that usually require intensive procedures, expensive medications, and highly skilled physicians to manage. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) published National Inpatient Hospital Costs: The Most Expensive Conditions by Payer, 2011,[1] listing the most costly inpatient conditions.

Many stakeholders question whether these costs have to be quite so high. Does septicemia need to cost the nation $20.3 billion, as reported? Is $14.8 billion too high a price to pay for inhospital management of osteoarthritis? Are there any measures that physicians can take to mitigate these costs? In today’s cost-conscious environment, these questions deserve answers.”

I began to wonder, “How many of those conditions are preventable? Can we keep people out of the hospital through preventive methods? How much pain and misery can we prevent?”  Let’s take a look at them and see what you think.


Heart Disease  – Total cost $32.4 Billion per year

Heart attack (myocardial infarction) $11.5 Billion

Coronary artery disease, often treated with bypass surgery or stents $10.4 Billion

Congestive heart disease $10.5 Billion


Diseases from infection  –  $30.9 Billion per year

Septicemia (blood borne infection, often life threatening) $20.3 Billion

Pneumonia $10.6 Billion

Musculoskeletal Disease  –  $26 Billion per year

Osteoarthritis – joint replacements $14.8 Billion

Back problems $11.2 Billion


Childbirth – 1/3 by Caesarean Section surgery $12.4 Billion


Adult Respiratory Failure – COPD $8.7 Billion


Complications From Devices, Implants, or Grafts (like robotic use in surgery) $12.9 Billion


Looking over this list which diseases do you think are the most preventable? Which category is the most preventable?


I would vote for heart disease as the most preventable. The doctors’ article tended to concur:

Myocardial infarction is a result of multiple factors, including genetics and a variety of lifestyle choices. With adequate cholesterol screening, proper nutritional counseling, and lipid-lowering statins, many of these heart attacks can be prevented. The problem is that many Americans don’t have access to preventive services, can’t afford a lifetime on statins, don’t know enough about good diet to stem the tide, or don’t make the necessary effort.


Health insurance plans vary in terms of the percentage of coverage for preventive care, explained David Prescott, PhD, Assistant Professor at Husson University in Bangor, Maine. For many patients, “it’s expensive to get preventive care,” which means it can be cheaper for patients to get really sick and to go to the hospital, says Prescott. The bottom line, unfortunately, is that by the time patients get inpatient care, the price tag is much higher.”

Let’s look at the preventive measures suggested:

1. Genetics as a factor, but not an excuse. Yes your family may tend to have heart disease but it’s lifestyle that causes the disease to manifest! Your choices make a huge difference!


2. Cholesterol screening – yes a good idea, but statin drugs – no not a good idea. Statin drugs statistically decrease the amount of heart disease, but they exchange heart disease for neurologic problems, violence and cancer. There are lots of better ways to lower cholesterol  including eating clean and healthy, exercising and detoxifying heavy metals and chemicals.


3. Nutritional counselling – yea and amen to that, but let’s go farther. Let’s create a mind set for really loving a truly healthy diet with lots of colorful, delightful vegetables and good oils.


4. Many Americans

                Can’t afford statins (good!)

                Don’t have access to preventive care – let’s start a grass roots movement to educate people and be a model of health for them

                Don’t know enough about a good diet – once again let’s show, help, be there for them

                Don’t make the effort to change – pray for a change in mind set


5. “It’s expensive to get preventive care.” – Let’s change that by being a model of health and encouragement for folks, gently educating them and helping them to move out of victim conscious ness and into personal responsibility for their own health.


 I dare say that most of the other high cost inpatient hospital conditions would be decreased by taking the healthy approach throughout life of eating clean, exercising, detoxifying and dealing with stress.


Let’s share the good news and keep people out of the hospital!



Dr. Jo



About Dr. Jo

Dr. JoDr. Jo delights in sharing the message of health. She believes disease is optional if you know how to take care of yourself. And she’s a great coach to help you reverse or prevent disease.

So she writes this blog to keep you up to date with information that may undermine your health if you are not aware of it. She also provides tips on healthy living, how to reverse degenerative diseases, delicious recipes, and ways to enjoyably change your habits to healthy ones.

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