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Am J Public Health. 1990 Oct;80(10):1253-6.

Patient, provider and hospital characteristics associated with inappropriate hospitalization.

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Health Services Researcher, RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, CA 90406-2138.


To determine the relation between patient and provider characteristics and inappropriate hospital use, we examined adult nonpregnancy hospitalizations from a randomized trial of health insurance conducted in six sites in the United States. Appropriateness of inpatient treatment was based on medical record review; patient characteristics on sociodemographic, economic, and health status; and provider characteristics on descriptors of physician practice and hospital facilities. Twenty-seven percent of admissions attended by physicians licensed for more than 15 years were judged inappropriate, compared to 20 percent for younger physicians. Admissions were more likely to be inappropriate if the patient was female (27 percent compared with 18 percent). Controlling for patient and provider characteristics reduces but does not eliminate the differences in the appropriateness of inpatient care across the study's six sites. Differences in available provider and patient characteristics do not account for geographic differences in inappropriate hospitalization in this study.

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