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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Studies on the Burden, Trajectory, and Forecast for Sepsis

U.S. hospitals saw a 40 percent increase in the rate of Medicare beneficiaries hospitalized with sepsis over the past seven years, and in just 2018 had an estimated cost to Medicare of more than $41.5 billion for inpatient hospital admissions and subsequent skilled nursing facility care according to an unprecedented study by researchers from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and collaborators from Acumen LLC of Burlingame, California.

On February 14, 2020, these findings were published in the journal Critical Care Medicine.

  • Sepsis among Medicare Beneficiaries: The Burdens of Sepsis, 2012–2018: This study provides contemporary estimates of the burdens in terms of costs and mortality associated with acute inpatient Medicare beneficiary admissions for sepsis. The study found that sepsis remains common, costly to treat, and presages significant mortality for Medicare beneficiaries.

  • Sepsis among Medicare Beneficiaries: The Trajectories of Sepsis, 2012–2018: This study was conducted to distinguish the characteristics of Medicare beneficiaries who will have an acute inpatient admission for sepsis from those who have an inpatient admission without sepsis, and to describe their further trajectories during and subsequent to those inpatient admissions. The study found that, although Medicare beneficiaries destined for an inpatient hospital admission with a sepsis code are nearly indistinguishable by other diagnostic codes from those whose admissions will not have a sepsis code, their healthcare trajectories following the admission are worse. This suggests that an inpatient stay that included a sepsis code not only identifies beneficiaries who were less resilient to infection but also signals increased risk for worsening health, for mortality, and for increased use of advanced healthcare services during and post discharge along with an increased likelihood of an inpatient hospital readmission.

  • Sepsis among Medicare Beneficiaries: The Methods, Models, and Forecasts of Sepsis, 2012–2018: This study was conducted to evaluate the impact of sepsis, age, and comorbidities on death following an acute inpatient admission and to model and forecast inpatient and skilled nursing facility costs for Medicare beneficiaries during and subsequent to an acute inpatient sepsis admission.

  • This page last reviewed: February 19, 2020