Length of stay


Length of stay

Length of stay (LOS) is a term commonly used to measure the duration of a single episode of hospitalization. Inpatient days are calculated by subtracting day of admission from day of discharge. However, persons entering and leaving a hospital on the same day have a length of stay of one. (See hospital.)

A popular statistic associated with length of stay is the average length of stay (ALOS), calculated by dividing the sum of inpatient days by the number of patients admitted with the same DRG classification.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services prospective payment system for reimbursing hospital care promotes shorter LOS by paying the same amount for procedures, regardless of days spent in the hospital.


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