By: Ryan MacArthur |

Quick read:

With America’s healthcare expenses reaching $3.2 trillion in 2015, monitoring healthcare costs has become a larger priority. The average cost of placing a short-term peripheral IV is about $45, which can more than double if it takes multiple attempts to place the IV.

Full story:
Americans across the country continue to struggle with rising healthcare costs. In 2015, the country’s healthcare expenses totaled $3.2 trillion. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, recent data shows that the average American spent close to $10,000 on healthcare in 2012, up from $7,700 in 2007.

So, what is all this money used for? One reason for the growing costs may surprise you.

The average cost to place a short-term, Peripheral IV is around $45, but only if it’s placed correctly the first time. Even though it’s only $45 per IV, many patients require anywhere between 2 – 10, and the costs can add up quickly.

In a study conducted in two American pediatric hospitals, only 42% of first attempts to place an IV was successful. For children requiring at least three or more attempts to place a line, the costs increased from $69 to upwards of $125 for each attempt. Keep in mind, the IVs themselves aren’t the most expensive part involved.

Typically, a patient needs their peripheral IV changed every 72 hours.* During longer hospital stays, it’s clear how the costs quickly begin to mount. Taking into account complications like phlebitis, a patient may require upwards of 10 needle sticks to place or replace a catheter. Using the $45 average for each placement and assuming there’s at least one IV failure during the patient’s stay, not to mention the labor of the medical staff involved, the costs for IV therapy alone can be upwards of $500.

Understanding the costs associated with IV therapy can make a significant impact in reducing the financial strain on patients throughout the country. Because patients receive IV therapy so frequently, it’s an area healthcare providers should target to minimize costs and reduce instances of complications.

*This differs from hospital to hospital based on their protocol.


Infusion teams in acute care hospitals: call for a business approach –

Resource utilization and cost of inserting peripheral intravenous catheters in hospitalized children –

Cost containment and infusion services –


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