Large care intensity variations exist between hospitals

A new study has found that the amount of resources used in the care of chronically ill varies widely from hospital to hospital. To conduct the study, researchers looked at variations in care at California hospitals provided to fee-for-service (FFS) Medicare enrollees, beneficiaries in Medicare HMOs and non-elderly patients in private insurance plans. The study noted that there were particularly wide variations in care intensity provided to Medicare FFS beneficiaries. In fact, there was five times as many care days on average provided by the highest-use hospital (47 days) and the average number provided by the lowest-use hospital. Meanwhile, there was a twofold difference in days provided to patients in all three insurance categories between the highest- and lowest-use hospitals. The study also concluded that facilities that frequently hospitals FFS Medicare patients are often those who invest high levels of resources in other types of patients.

To learn more about these variations:
- read this HFMA News item

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