The Effect of Hospital Characteristics on Length of Stay and Charges for Pediatric Asthma Patients
Asthma is one of the most common reasons for hospitalization among children in the United States (Cosper, et al., 2006). Improvements in patient care and outcomes in this area therefore can have a positive impact on a significant number of children. An important first step is to assess if there are any differences among hospitals that can impact treatment for pediatric asthma patients. Hospitals vary based upon teaching status, urbanization level, ownership, specialty designation, and bed size. How do these hospital characteristics impact both hospital charges and length of stay for pediatric asthma patients? This research explores this relationship using the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project&s Kids& Inpatient Database from 2003. This study tests the hypotheses that hospital charges and length of stay for pediatric asthma patients are greater at proprietary hospitals than at public and private non-profit hospitals; greater at large urban hospitals than small rural hospitals; greater at general hospitals than at children&s hospitals; and greater at teaching hospitals than non-teaching hospitals. These findings support almost all of the study&s hypotheses, except with respect to the impact of specialty designation. This study hypothesized that general hospitals would have higher length of stay and charges than children&s specialty hospitals, but the results show the opposite relationship.
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