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Medicine and Public Policy |

Conservation in Hospital Resource Use: Treatment of Pneumonias: An Investigation of Care in Four Hospitals over the Past Decade

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Grant support: by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Commonwealth Fund through the Center for the Analysis of Health Practices.

▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Herbert Sherman; 1028 Kresge, Harvard School of Public Health, 677 Huntington Ave.; Boston, MA 02115.

Boston, Massachusetts

Ann Intern Med. 1976;85(5):648-652. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-85-5-648
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An investigation of patient care in four hospitals compared levels of resource use between 1964 and 1974 for patients with a primary diagnosis of pneumonia. Results showed a decreased length of stay in all hospitals. Unique patterns of increases and decreases existed in each hospital for the changing use of diagnostic and therapeutic resources. Reduction in dollar value of length of stay was larger in all cases than increases in dollar value of diagnostic and therapeutic resource use. This resulted in an overall reduction in hospital resource charges over the decade, when 1974 dollar values were used. Large increases in diagnostic or therapeutic resources (up to 217%) were reflected as only minor increases in the partial hospital bill over the decade (< 11%). Increased intensity of resource use has contributed to increasing per-day charges of up to 27%, in the face of recent average cost rises of more than 10 times that size for daily hospital expenses.







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