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DHSS Press Release

Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jay Lynch, Communications Director
(302) 540-4979, Pager

Date: September 9, 2011


Delaware's hospital bill has more than doubled since 2001

Delaware's hospital bill for 2009 totaled $2.53 billion, a figure that has more than doubled since 2001, according to the Division of Public Health's (DPH) 2009 Hospital Discharge Summary Report. Seven diagnoses accounted for nearly one-quarter of the total billed charges in 2009: coronary artery and other heart disease (coronary atherosclerosis), blood poisoning (septicemia), degenerative joint disease (osteoarthritis), heart attack (acute myocardial infarction), live born infants, pneumonia, and respiratory failure. More than half of hospitalized patients were admitted through the emergency department; for uninsured patients that proportion was closer to three-quarters.

The 2009 Hospital Discharge Summary Report contains information about inpatient hospitalizations in Delaware hospitals. The report describes patient demographics, how and why patients were admitted to the hospital, how patients were discharged, average charges, and length of stay. In addition, the report's hospital and healthcare system profiles describe accreditation, ownership, medical staff, and services for each system.

"There is considerable evidence that heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes, which often occur in combination, can be prevented through healthy eating and physical activity," said Dr. Karyl Rattay, DPH director. "DPH is focused on helping Delawareans prevent disease, and therefore reducing the rates of hospitalization and emergency department visits."

Other key findings in 2009:

The report may be accessed at the following website: at

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.