Impact of socioeconomic status on health care utilization: factors influencing length of stay

J Health Hum Serv Adm. 1997 Spring;19(4):384-409.


Using multivariate analysis, this study evaluates the relationship between socioeconomic status and hospital resource utilization as measured by length of stay for elderly Medicare patients, age 65 and older, within Shelby County, Tennessee. Variations in length of stay are compared across income groupings for seven different Diagnosis Related Groups (DRGs) and relative effects are measured for socioeconomic status, age, race, gender, discharge status, and severity of illness. Despite the lack of provider specific and patient specific information, the analysis does suggest that, once patients access the medical care system, socioeconomic status has a limited effect on discharge decisions. The results also indicate that the effect of administratively necessary days on length of stay needs further policy review.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Catchment Area, Health
  • Data Collection
  • Diagnosis-Related Groups / classification
  • Diagnosis-Related Groups / statistics & numerical data*
  • Hospitals / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay / economics
  • Length of Stay / statistics & numerical data*
  • Medicare / statistics & numerical data*
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Poverty
  • Societies, Hospital
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Tennessee
  • United States
  • Utilization Review / statistics & numerical data