SINCE the advent of Medicare, reluctance of many cataract patients to leave the hospital has been noted. A variety of reasons as to why they should remain for a "few days longer" is given by these patients. This was anticipated by many. A physician finds it difficult to say, "Hospital care is no longer a medical necessity in your case. I am signing you out today." At this "time of crisis" in a shortage of hospital beds, the ophthalmic surgeon should do his part in reducing over hospitalization by not allowing a patient to occupy a needed bed for his own convernience, and at no expense to himself. Perhaps hospitalization could be appreciably shortened rather than lengthened.
In 1961, 12 well-known ophthalmic surgeons were polled regarding the length of hospitalization following various eye operations.1 The length of stay after cataract surgery varied from five to 14 days, with
Beard C. Overhospitalization—"The Medicare Syndrome"Can the Ophthalmologist Help?. Arch Ophthalmol. 1967;77(5):577-578. doi:10.1001/archopht.1967.00980020579002