Hospital stays for uninsured patients rise over twenty percent

Hospital stays for uninsured patients jumped 21 percent between 2003 and 2008, after holding fairly steady during the previous 5 years, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Key findings from the report:

  • Public hospitals saw the greatest share of uninsured stays (8.3 percent) in 2008, compared to stays in private, for-profit hospitals, (5.5 percent) and private, not-for-profit hospitals (4.7 percent).
  • Hospitals in the South had more than twice the percentage of uninsured stays (7.6 percent) than those in the Northeast (3.2 percent) in 2008. Uninsured patients made up 4.9 percent and 3.6 percent of stays in the Midwest and West, respectively.
  • Between 2003 and 2008, the number of uninsured hospital stays increased by 55 percent for skin infections, 43 percent for gall bladder disease, 40 percent for diabetes complications, 35 percent for alcohol-related disorders, and 20 percent for heart attacks.

(Sources: The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality,, April, 2011; The Advisory Board Daily Briefing,, April 12, 2011)