Racial Differences in Length of Stay for Patients Who Leave Against Medical Advice from U.S. General Hospitals

Rima Tawk, Matthew Dutton
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 2015 December 31, 13 (1)
There is a paucity of published literature on the length of hospital stays (LOS) for patients who leave against medical advice (AMA) and on the factors that predict their LOS. The purpose of the study is to examine the relationship between race and the LOS for AMA patients after adjusting for patient and hospital characteristics. National Hospital Discharge Survey (NHDS) data were used to describe LOS for AMA patients aged 18 years or older. Patient characteristics included age, sex, race, marital status, insurance, and diagnosis (ICD-9-CM). Hospital characteristics consisted of ownership, region and bed size. LOS was the major outcome measure. Using data from all years 1988-2006, the expected time to AMA discharge was first examined as a function of race, then adjusting for year terms, patient and hospital characteristics, and major medical diagnoses and mental illness. The unadjusted effect of race on the expected time of leaving AMA was about twice the adjusted effect. After controlling for the other covariates, the expected time to AMA discharge is 20% shorter for Blacks than Whites. The most significant predictors included age, insurance coverage, mental illness, gender, and region. Factors identified in this study offer insights into directions for evidence based- health policy to reduce AMA discharges.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"