Academic journal article Health Care Financing Review

Hospital Stays Shorten, with Heart Disease Leading Hospitalization Cause

Academic journal article Health Care Financing Review

Hospital Stays Shorten, with Heart Disease Leading Hospitalization Cause

Article excerpt

The latest data on national trends in hospitalization show that the number of hospital discharges stabilized during the 1990s--after peaking in the early 1980s--but that the average length of a hospital stay continued to decline over the past decade. According to a report recently released by CDC, the average length of stay for hospital inpatients was 5.0 days in 1999, down from 7.3 days in 1980, as measured by the National Hospital Discharge Survey conducted by CDC's National Center for Health Statistics.

The drop in inpatient hospitalization is attributed primarily to an increase in ambulatory or same-day surgery, made possible over the past 20 years by new surgical techniques and less invasive procedures. Treatment advances including new drug therapies have also contributed to fewer and shorter hospital stays as have cost-management controls and alternative forms of health care organization and payment.

Females were hospitalized at a rate 45-percent higher than for males in 1999 (due in part to hospitalization for deliveries and other obstetric and gynecological diagnoses), but males had slightly longer hospital stays. …

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