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Prospective Payment and Psychiatric Discharges From General Hospitals With and Without Psychiatric Units
Carl A. Taube; James W. Thompson; Barbara J. Burns; Paul Widem; Carol Prevost
Psychiatric Services 1985; doi:
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The authors appreciate the comments of Thomas McGuire, Lanny Morrison, Richard Frank, and Howard Goldman.

The Division of Biometry and Epidemiology, The National Institute of Mental Health, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, Maryland 20852

The Service System and Economics Research Branch

The Clinical Services Research Branch

The Mental Health Economics Research Program, The Service System and Economics Research Branch, The Division of Biometry and Epidemiology

The Commission on Professional and Hospital Activities in Ann Arbor, Michigan

1985 American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

For psychiatric patients treated in general hospitals, the prospective payment system does not differentiate between patients treated in medical-surgical wards and patients treated in psychiatric units. in particular, the system uses a single length-of-stay norm for both kinds of patients, even though psychiatric patients in medical-surgical units have shorter stays. The authors document major differences in length of stay and hospital charges for both groups of patients in relation to selected patient and hospital characteristics. They conclude that the current reimbursement procedures systematically overpay for stays in nonpsychiatric units and underpay for stays in psychiatric units, and they suggest mechanisms for partly reducing such inequities.

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