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Overview of Hospital Stays Among Children and Adolescents, 2019


Children are hospitalized for a variety of reasons, including birth,
appendicitis, and respiratory conditions such as asthma and
pneumonia. Pediatric hospitalizations have been declining in
recent years. Between 2004 and 2019, the number and rate of
inpatient stays for children aged 0–17 years decreased by 20
percent. Factors such as a shift to outpatient services as well as
increased pediatric care coordination (e.g., through accountable
care organizations and patient-centered medical homes) may be
changing the nature of pediatric hospitalizations. Bucholz et
al. found that both pediatric admissions involving complex
chronic conditions and pediatric readmissions increased between
2010 and 2016. Given these changes, understanding the current
characteristics of and reasons for inpatient hospitalizations
among children is important to inform pediatric clinical practice as
well as health policy initiatives aimed at improving children’s

This Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) Statistical
Brief presents statistics on hospital stays among children and
adolescents, aged 0–17 years, using weighted national estimates
from the 2019 National Inpatient Sample (NIS) and State-level
estimates from the 2019 State Inpatient Databases (SID). The
distribution of hospital stays and aggregate costs by pediatric age
group is provided. Characteristics of children’s hospital stays are
presented by pediatric age group and primary expected payer.
The most common principal diagnoses are provided by pediatric
age group. Finally, characteristics of pediatric hospitalizations
are presented for 48 States and the District of Columbia.
Because of the large sample size of the NIS and SID data, small
differences can be statistically significant. Thus, only differences
greater than or equal to 10 percent are discussed in the text.


Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (2022). Overview of Hospital Stays Among Children and Adolescents, 2019.