Indiana Surgeons Contact Your Legislator: Length of Stay Should be Determined Between a Patient and Physician, Not the Legislature

 

The Indiana Orthopaedic Society is urging its members to express serious concerns with Senate Bill 243 to their state lawmakers. The bill puts certain hospitals at risk for being shut down by requiring that any hospital with less than 2.0 average length of stay over a 12-month period be denied a license.

These requirements have nothing to do with delivering high-quality care, but instead could curtail hospital competition and create patient access issues. By establishing new minimum bed requirements for new hospital applicants and onerous licensure requirements, S.B. 243 creates barriers to entry for new hospitals.

Certain Indiana hospitals, like many around the country, work to drive down the average length of stay while at the same time increasing quality of care. This both lowers costs for patients and increases access overall to high-quality care. This proposal demands that existing hospitals increase their length of stay for the average patient and will immediately add to the cost of care.

Length of stay in a hospital should be determined between a patient and physician. We strongly advocate for patient-centered care and provider-led innovation, and we are strongly concerned that S.B. 243 runs counter to both of these goals. The new licensure requirements, minimum bed requirements, and creation of an unelected task force could create a more consolidated hospital market, which may result in higher spending and adverse health outcomes for patients. We urge you to ask your state lawmaker to oppose this legislation and allow Indiana hospitals to continue to provide high-quality, low-cost care to patients across the state.

 

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