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Costs of Many Hospital Procedures Rise Sharply: Report

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Costs for 10 common hospital procedures increased rapidly between 2004 and 2007, says a U.S. government report released Wednesday.

Increases in the number of patients undergoing the procedures accounted for about 75 percent of the rise, while the remaining 25 percent was related to higher costs per patient, said the latest News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

The 10 procedures that showed the most rapid increases in hospital costs were:

* Bone marrow transplants. Up 85 percent from $694 million to $1.3 billion.

* Open surgery for non-cancerous enlarged prostate. Up 69 percent to $1 billion.
* Aortic valve resection or replacement. Up 38.5 percent to $1.9 billion.
* Cancer chemotherapy. Up 33 percent to $2.6 billion.
* Spinal fusion. Up 29.5 percent to $8.9 billion.
* A type of lung cancer surgery called lobectomy. Up 29 percent to $1 billion.
* Incision and drainage of skin and other tissues. Up 29 percent to $1 billion.
* Knee surgery. Up 27.5 percent to $9.2 billion.
* Nephrostomy (surgery to allow urine to pass through the kidneys). Up 25 percent to $683 million.
* Mastectomy (breast removal because of cancer). Up 24 percent to $660 million.

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