The number of uninsured hospital stays increased 34% between 1997 and 2006 to more than 2.2 million per year, according to a new report by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The change in uninsured hospitalizations varied by region, from a 39.3% increase in the South to a nearly 20% decrease in the Midwest.
Uninsured stays were more likely than other stays to originate in the emergency department. The most common reason for admission remained childbirth, while stays for skin infections rose 167% over the period to 74,500 per year.
The data are from the agency’s 2006 Nationwide Inpatient Sample.