This study sets out to explore the relationship between hospital characteristics, asthma length of stay (LOS), and costs per discharge. The study adopts hospitalization data from the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database covering the period from 1997 to 2001. Study subjects were identified from the database by principal diagnosis of asthma or asthmatic bronchitis, with a total of 139,630 cases being included in the study. Multiple-regression analyses were performed to explore the relationship between LOS, costs per discharge and hospital characteristics, adjusting for age, gender, and discharge status of patients, as well as complications or comorbidities. The regression analyses showed that, compared with district hospitals, medical centers and regional hospitals have longer and more statistically significant LOS, as well as higher costs. Hospitals operating on a for-profit basis have shorter LOS and lower costs than public and not-for-profit hospitals. This study shows the existence of wide variations in LOS and costs per discharge for asthma hospitalizations, between the various types of hospitals in Taiwan.
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