(Snippets from the frontline)
Older and sicker stay shorter
When an elder senior is admitted to a hospital, Medicare pays a flat fee based on diagnosis to cover the length of stay. Needless to say, the faster they discharge the patient, the less it costs the hospital.
For those younger and under 65 with regular insurance, they stay longer than Medicare patients. Why? Because the hospital gets higher daily insurance reimbursement enhancing profits without a flat fee.
Concurrently, hospitals hire an army of personnel to bombard admitting doctors to decrease Medicare senior length of stay, but rarely those patients with private insurance.
So, if you are older and sicker, you stay shorter. If you are younger with private insurance, you stay longer and get more care.
This defies healthcare logic but is a financial windfall to the bottom line of hospitals.
For elder seniors, the bottom line is a negative effect on longevity.
Gene Uzawa Dorio, M.D.