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Health Serv Manage Res. 1999 Nov;12(4):217-26.

Severity of illness and profitability: a patient level analysis.

Author information

1
Widener University, Chester, PA 19013, USA.

Abstract

Crafting a payment mechanism for hospitals that provides for the legitimate operating needs of efficient institutions is an enduring health policy dilemma. The Prospective Payment System used by Medicare and some other payers in the US has been criticized for not adjusting for differences in severity of illness within diagnosis-related groups (DRGs). Previous studies have examined the relationship between profitability and severity of illness at the hospital level. This study examines the relationships between severity of illness and cost, revenue, and profit at the patient level. Two measures of severity (disease stage and number of unrelated diseases) were significant predictors of cost per case, and often had better predictive power than DRGs. In most instances, payers did not compensate adequately for severity so that higher values for the severity variables resulted in financial losses for the hospital.

PMID:
10622800
DOI:
10.1177/095148489901200403
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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