Study: Uninsured Patients Have Shorter Hospital Stays

Patients without insurance have shorter hospital stays for both preventable and non-preventable conditions, according to a study published in the Annals of Family Medicine.

Researchers from the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston analyzed hospitalizations in the National Hospital Discharge Survey from 2003-2007 for patients aged 18-64. Hospitalizations for ambulatory care-sensitive conditions, which are considered preventable, and non-ACSCs were examined.

After controlling variables, uninsured patients had a significant shorter length of stay. For instance, the mean length of stay for ACSCs was 2.77 days for patients without insurance. For those with private insurance, the mean was 2.89 days and for Medicaid it was 3.19.

The study authors concluded that future research should examine whether uninsured patients are prematurely discharged.

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