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Average length of stay in hospitals

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The average length of stay in hospitals (ALOS) is often treated as an indicator of efficiency. All other things being equal, a shorter stay will reduce the cost per discharge and shift care from inpatient to less expensive post‐acute settings. However, shorter stays tend to be more service intensive and more costly per day. Too short a length of stay could also cause adverse effect on health outcomes, or reduce the comfort and recovery of the patient. If this leads to a rising readmission rate, costs per episode of illness may fall little, or even rise.
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Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: 2009-12-01

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