Cost of acute stroke care in Toronto, Canada.
Stroke cost consumes a large proportion of the gross domestic product in all developed countries, and while health care costs are rising, the ability to contain them is diminishing.
We calculated the cost of acute stroke care for all first admissions to a teaching hospital in Toronto, Canada, in 1991 through 1992 for 285 consecutive patients.
The average cost per patient was $27,500 Canadian, and strokes in men cost less than in women ($23,000 versus $32,000 Canadian), for a total cost of $8 million Canadian over 2 years. More women died than men (34% versus 17%, P < .02), mainly from systemic complications of stroke, but because women stayed hospitalized longer, they cost more in the long term. The major factor determining cost was social support, and more men than women went home or to rehabilitation units (P < .02). Family support was greater for men (82%) than women (39%, P < .0002).
Significant cost reductions are more likely to be achieved by altering discharge policies and improving social conditions for early return to the home than by reducing laboratory or medical personnel costs.
- Copyright © 1994 by American Heart Association