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Shortening length of stay without increasing recidivism on a university- affiliated inpatient unit
Psychiatric Services 1996; doi:
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Abstract

The impact of reducing length of stay on readmission rates was examined for privately insured patients treated on a traditional inpatient unit or in an alternatives program with a shorter stay and a continuum of acute care. Billing data were analyzed for length of stay and readmission rates for all admissions between 1985 and 1992 (N = 1,363). The traditional unit was reorganized in 1990 into the alternatives program. Although the program decreased mean length of stay from 20.2 days to 6.2 full-day equivalents, overall readmission rates did not increase (17.2 percent, compared with 18.6 percent for the traditional unit). Rates increased for a subgroup of patients with psychotic disorders (from 13.7 to 35.2 percent).

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