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Survey finds payment source makes difference in average length of hospital stay.

ANN ARBOR. Mich. -- Average length of hospital stay across all DRGs varies by 3.9 days depending on the payment source, according to data recently released by Healthcare Knowledge Resources in Ann Arbor. Mich.

The "1990-91 Length of Stay by DRG and Payment Source," series, based on data from the Commission on Professional and Hospital Activities (CPHA) database, shows that for uninsured patients, the average hospital stay for all DRGs was 4.2 days. Average stay across all DRGs for patients with traditional insurance was 4.5 days, while Medicaid and Medicare patients' average hospital stay was 4.8 days and 8.1 days, respectively. Regional differences in length of stay by payor parallel the national trend, the research firm states.

The data also shows a difference in average length of stay by region. The shortest overall hospital stays by payor groups occur in the Western region, with average length of stay ranging from 3.9 days for uninsured patients to 6.8 days for Medicare recipients. The Northeast showed the longest average length of stay across DRGs, from 4.6 days for uninsured patients to 9.4 days for Medicare recipients.

The shorter length of stay for uninsured patients, the researcher states, suggests that there is a financial incentive to discharge uninsured patients as soon as medically possible, but it also notes that patients covered by private insurance arc not hospitalized significantly longer than uninsured patients, probably due to aggressive utilization management programs. Longer stays experienced by Medicaid patients may be attributed to restricted access to health care resulting in sicker patients, while Medicare patients, who show the longest stays, tend to be older with multiple health problems that would require longer hospitalization, the research firm postulates.

"Length of Stay by DRG and Payment Source" is available from Healthcare Knowledge Resources. P.O. Box 303. Ann Arbor. Michigan. 48106-0303. The data is drawn from the CPHA database and is available for separate regions or the United States as a whole. The series is available in books or on tape for use with an information system.

Healthcare Know ledge Resources was formed to develop and market products and services derived from the CPHA database. Healthcare Knowledge Resources currently offers custom research and comparative studies, data collection and analysis, consulting services, classification tools, and comparative norms.

For more information on "Length of Stay by DRG and Payment Source" or other products, contact Healthcare Knowledge Resources toll free at 800-521-6210.

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Title Annotation:LIFE & HEALTH
Publication:Insurance Advocate
Geographic Code:1U3MI
Date:Apr 10, 2017
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