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Disability Status and Length of Stay at a VA Medical Center
Raymond Pary; Danielle M. Turns; Judith J. Stephenson; Carmelita Tobias; Steven Lippmann
Psychiatric Services 1992; doi:
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University of Louisville School of Medicine in Louisville, Kentucky; Veterans Affairs, Medical Center, 800 Zorn Avenue, Louisville, Kentucky 40206

1992 by the American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

In this study, patients who benefited financially from extended admissions had a significantly greater proportion of hospital stays exceeding 20 days. The system of monetary rewards for veterans with service connected partial disabilities appears to prolong inpatient stays. Costs indude not only the increased disability payments, but also the additional expenses for the protracted stay and larger census.It is unlikely that VA compensation rules will be changed. Physicians should be aware that patients with service-connected partial disabilities may have expectations for hospital stays different from their own. Taking appropriate discharge planning steps early in treatment is preferable to suddenly insisting on discharge on the 19th day of hospitalization, a measure not likely to be easily accepted by patients eligible for remunerated hospitalization.

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