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May 1967

Overhospitalization—"The Medicare Syndrome": Can the Ophthalmologist Help?

Author Affiliations

San Jose, Calif

Arch Ophthalmol. 1967;77(5):577-578. doi:10.1001/archopht.1967.00980020579002

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