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Surprise! Little difference between HMO, indemnity lengths of stay

Have hospitals adopted managed care's regimen of efficiency as standard operating practice? A new Milliman & Robertson survey suggests that when it comes to hospitalization, medical/surgical lengths of stay are not heavily influenced by what it says on a patient's insurance card. In 11 states where M&R studied discharge data, lengths of stay for commercial patients with indemnity insurance were less than 4 percent higher overall than for patients enrolled in HMOs. Neither HMO nor indemnity LOS reflect retrospectively denied days. Of patients whose cases were studied, 36 percent were enrolled in HMOs.

SOURCE: MILLIMAN & ROBERTSON INC., SEATTLE, 1998

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