average length of stay, managed care organizations, Medicare, prospective payment system, utilization review



  1. Mardis, Renee BS, OTR
  2. Brownson, Kenneth MS, RN, C, AHI


Most health care professionals agree that the decreasing length of stay in hospitals is detrimental to the quality of care given to the patient. The growing trend over the past decade is to discharge the patient as quickly as possible. The decreasing length of stay has spurred many questions and controversies in both public and medical domains. It has brought about changes in service delivery and technology. Still, the question remains: Does shortened length of stay decrease the quality of care given? Understanding the factors of change and their effect on the medical environment is beneficial to all health care professionals.