The top 5 percent of hospital stays averaged about $18,000 in charges per day in U.S. hospitals in 2008, according to the AHRQ. Hospitals charges for the most expensive stays tended to be for patients who were getting treated for septicemia, or blood infection, hardening of the arteries and heart attacks.
The average cost for the most expensive patient stays was based on the top 5 percent of stays by cost, or about 2 million inpatient stays. The stays lasted just under three weeks (19 days). The hospitals charged on average $191,984 for those stays.