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A Study on Trends in the Length of Hospital Stay in Korea

Other Title
우리나라 병원의 평균재원기간 변화 추세
Authors
전, 기홍; 강, 임옥; 신, 승수; 민, 근식; 신, 상건
Citation
Ajou medical journal, 1(1):193-192, 1996
Journal Title
Ajou medical journal; 아주의학
ISSN
1226-3265
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to examine the trends of length of hospital stay (LOS), which is most likely to be a major attribute to hospital performance. From 1984 to 1994, average LOS of each hospital were analyzed according to factors such as medical departments, bed size, occupancy rate, region and ownership.

This study findings are as follows:

1) The results indicated that the average LOS steadily increased until 1990 but it slightly decreased after 1990.

2) This trend could be found in all hospital scale and all group of occupancy rate. Specifically this trends of LOS were found in internal medicine, corporate owned hospitals and hospitals in major city. But LOS of individual owned hospital was continuously increased until 1994.

Finally from this result we think, that most hospitals in Korea began to be concerned with LOS. Nevertheless LOS of several hospital such as small hospital or individual owned hospital was increased. And this tend may be caused by a fewer patients, low occupancy rate or low profit.

This trend of LOS is different from that of other countries. Perhaps this phenomenon results from the reimbursement method. Because of the fee-for-service reimbursement system in Korea the hospitals did not need to shorten LOS in order to save costs and increase profits. Therefore reform of hospital cost reimbursement method will be needed to reduce hospital cost in Korea. We think that the Korean health authority should consider the reimbursement method by unit of bundle of services, for example DRG and prepayment in the United States.

This study presents some limitations such as no insight of severity of disease, case-mix measurement of hospital, and other clinical characteristics that can possibly affect LOS. However, this study reports an important

trend in the annual LOS from 1984 to 1994.
Keywords
Length of stay(LOS)
Appears in Collections:
Journal Papers > School of Medicine / Graduate School of Medicine > Preventive Medicine & Public Health
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