DOD Health Care:

Lengths of Stay in Defense Hospitals Compared to Civilian Hospitals

HRD-86-44BR: Published: Mar 26, 1986. Publicly Released: Mar 26, 1986.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO conducted an analysis to determine whether there were significant differences between the lengths of stay for civilian patients in military hospitals and those for comparable patients in civilian hospitals.

GAO found that, although there was little difference in the overall average lengths of stay between military hospital patients and comparable civilian patients, there were differences among comparison groups when they were examined on the basis of diagnosis, patient age, hospital size, and surgical category involved. Civilian hospital lengths of stay have been declining since the 1970's, and military hospitals have also reduced the lengths of stay for civilian patients, but to a lesser extent. Between 1983 and 1984 the average lengths of stay declined by 1.7 percent for the Army and 1.9 percent for the Air Force.

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