Among all patients, the mean hospital charge for negative appendectomy is $26,732. Among the elderly, the mean hospital charge for negative appendectomy is $47,120.
The total hospital charges for negative appendectomy is $1.0 billion annually in the U.S.
In addition to the discomfort of unnecessary surgery, these patients each lose 10.5 days of work, on average. This amounts to nearly $41 million annually in lost wages in the U.S.
Overall, 30% of all appendicitis patients and 50% of elderly appendicitis patients have a perforated appendix, which results in twice the hospital charges and length of stay than for those with uncomplicated appendicitis.
Among all patients, the mean hospital charge for perforated appendicitis is $26,420, as compared to $14,930 for uncomplicated appendicitis. Among the elderly, the mean hospital charge for perforated appendicitis is $42,428, as compared to $23,181 for uncomplicated appendicitis.
The additional total hospital charges for perforated (relative to uncomplicated) appendicitis is $1.2 billion annually in the U.S. The national lost wages due to perforation is $29.5 million annually.
Misdiagnosed appendicitis cases cost this country as much as $2.46 billion a year in hospital charges, lost wages, and medical malpractice lawsuits. Earlier, more accurate diagnosis would result in substantial clinical and economic benefits.
(Sources: 2003 PIDB, 2003 MedPAR, U.S. Department of Labor – Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2004 PIAA; Rypins et al. 2002)