Cost-Effectiveness of a National Opportunistic Screening Program for Atrial Fibrillation in Ireland.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Stroke imposes a major burden on patients, their families, and the national healthcare system. The purpose of this study was to determine the itemized hospital charges in acute ischemic stroke patients according to their severity by partitioning the charges in detail and then examining whether stroke severity was a significant contributor to these charges. METHODS This study analyzed data of first-time acute ischemic stroke patients who had been admitted to an academic medical center between September 2003 and April 2009. The patients' demographic and clinical characteristics were analyzed descriptively, and then eight categorized hospital charges as well as the total charge were compared among patients grouped according to stroke severity, using analysis of variance. Multiple regression analyses were conducted to test the influence of stroke severity on itemized hospital charges as well as the total charge, while controlling for other related factors. RESULTS More-severe strokes were associated with a higher total charge. Significantly higher charges were associated with patients with more-severe strokes regarding all charged items except imaging studies. The charges for imaging studies were similar across all severities of stroke. While controlling for other factors, a significant impact of stroke severity was found in both the total hospital charge and most itemized charges. CONCLUSIONS Itemized hospital charges for inpatients with acute ischemic stroke varied according to stroke severity. Stroke severity was a significant factor influencing the itemized charges of acute hospitalization of ischemic stroke patients.