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DOD Health Care: Lengths of Stay in Defense Hospitals Compared to Civilian Hospitals
[Technical Report, Congressional Report]
Government Accountability Office
Pagination or Media Count:
The objective of our analysis was to determine whether lengths of stay for civilian patients in military hospitals differed significantly from stays for comparable patients in civilian hospitals. To perform the analysis, we obtained from the Army, Navy, and Air Force medical commands computer tapes of 1983 treatment files. These files contain medical information, including diagnosis and length-of-stay data, for patients who had been provided inpatient health care in military hospitals during the year. The National Center for Health Statistics, Department of Health and Human Services, also provided a computer tape of the 1983 National Hospital Discharge Survey. The survey contains similar information for inpatients treated in 1983 at a sample of 418 hospitals representative of the 8,130 civilian short-stay hospitals in the nation. We used calendar year 1983 data because they were the most recent available when we began our analysis in November 1984. We did not validate the data on the computer tapes but discussed the datas reliability with cognizant statisticians from the Center and the three services. Based on these discussions, the computer data are, in our opinion, reliable for length-of-stay analysis.
[A, Approved For Public Release]