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Canadian hospitals spend $23,000 on typical COVID-19 patient, report finds

TORONTO — The average cost per hospitalization of a COVID-19 patient in Canada is estimated to be $23,000, according to new data from the Canadian Institute for Health Information.

That price tag goes for both ICU and non-ICU patients. By comparison, it is three times higher than the average cost of someone hospitalized for a heart attack, $8,000, and almost as costly as it is to hospitalize a kidney transplant patient, $27,000.

The nearly $1 billion spent on hospitalized COVID-19 patients excludes Quebec hospitalizations, according to the data.

The data shows that Canadians who were hospitalized with COVID-19 were on average in hospital for 15 days. The average hospital stay for a patient with pneumonia, by contrast, is seven days, the press release said.

“COVID-19 patients tend to be sicker and to have longer hospital stays. The data reinforces that the virus can cause a serious illness and not simply a bad flu. Almost 1 in 4 hospitalized COVID-19 patients are admitted to the ICU and 1 in 5 die in the facility,” Nathalie Robertson, manager of financial standards and information with the Canadian Institute for Health Information, said in a press release.

On average, the cost of an ICU-admitted COVID-19 patient was $55,000. For COVID-19 patients who weren’t admitted to ICU, the cost came in at $15,000. By comparison, an ICU-admitted pneumonia patient costs $22,000, a heart attack patient in ICU costs on average $8,400, and a patient with influenza costs on average $4,959.

The majority of hospital spending went towards compensation and supplies.

COVID-19 and other common conditions

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