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Comment & Response
December 22/29, 2015

Use of Observation Stays in Calculating Hospitalizations Among Medicare Beneficiaries

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of Hospital Medicine, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, Michigan
JAMA. 2015;314(24):2690-2691. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.15049

To the Editor Dr Krumholz and colleagues1 shared important data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) demonstrating a decline in hospitalization rates and inpatient costs in the Medicare population from 1999 to 2013. The decrease in hospitalizations appeared more pronounced in the last 7 years of the analysis (6.3% for 1999-2007 vs 18.5% for 2007-2013). We suggest that one significant reason for this trend may be the increasing number of patients being placed in observation status, an outpatient category for some hospitalized patients.

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