The pMD Blog

Welcome to the
pMD Blog...

where we cover interesting and relevant news, insights, events, and more related to the health care industry and pMD. Most importantly, this blog is a fun, engaging way to learn about developments in an ever-changing field that is heavily influenced by technology.

Reducing Length of Stay in Hospitals, Benchmarking GMLOS


Benchmarking Length of Stay article


Benchmarking & Reducing Length of Stay in Hospitals

pMD prides itself on helping providers and practices accomplish their goals and measure their quality improvement initiatives. In the inpatient environment, we often work with groups that are interested in tracking patients’ length of stay (LOS) and assessing how their data compares to estimated values for particular medical conditions or patient populations.

While there are many views on which calculation is the most accurate for a patient’s estimated length of stay, for the sake of this discussion, I will use the geometric mean length of stay (GMLOS) as the value associated with the estimated LOS.

What is GMLOS?

The GMLOS is based off of the patient’s diagnosis-related group (DRG), which is a system of grouping together clinically similar patients. Several different classification systems exist with varying levels of grouping precision and levels of specificity. For example, CMS utilizes MS-DRGs (Medicare Severity Diagnosis Related Groups) to assign a specific GMLOS to each DRG in their system.

Why is Length of Stay Important?

When clinically viable, reducing hospital length of stay has been proven to provide both positive results for patients and financial benefits for the institution. In many cases, hospitals do not receive additional reimbursement once a patient’s stay has passed the GMLOS for their assigned DRG.

The DRG, calculated from the patient’s diagnosis, relies on accurate and thorough coding. One study estimated that 40.6% of patients in a specific facility could have benefitted from having a more accurate DRG assigned. Allina Health, a not-for-profit health care system based in Minnesota, has realized a financial gain of 13 million dollars by implementing a length of stay optimization effort across their system.

Methods for Reducing Length of Stay Compared to Benchmarks

Several strategies, such as provider education on statistics and benchmarks, earlier discharge order entry, and increased case management and care coordination efforts, have proven successful for increasing the percentage of patients meeting - or beating - the GMLOS for their condition. However, providing real-time data to care providers stands out as one of the strongest ways to optimize for length of stay. If the care team and administration members do not have a way to access the comparative statistics while the patient is still in the facility, they cannot address this data during their clinical decision-making process, making it impossible to effectively target interventions.

Benchmarking LOS is most useful when the information is supplied in an on-demand manner, allowing educated care teams to use the relevant information when needed. Implementing a system that provides this feedback in real-time can be difficult and involves concurrent coding teams working together with clinical care teams.

Once the data is readily available, health systems can then act to improve it, taking on projects such as selecting specific DRGs to target for improvement and starting conversations between providers and coders when benchmarks don’t seem clinically accurate. In the end, the patient benefits from a more collaborative care planning initiative that takes full advantage of all available information and includes options for care outside of the inpatient environment.

pMD’s Charge Capture, Clinical Communication, and Care Navigation tools all offer the capability to give relevant information to caregivers at the right time, while avoiding cognitive overload. We’ve worked with enterprises to introduce functionality to support their quality initiatives with real-time data. If you’d like to discuss your organization’s current initiatives and goals around length of stay, reach out to us! We’re all ears.

Find out more about pMD's suite of products, which includes our MIPS registry, charge capture, secure messaging, clinical communication, and care navigation software and services, please contact pMD.
ACA Account Management ACI Advancing Care Information AHCA AHRQ AI Alternative Payment Model Android API Apple Artificial Intelligence Audit BCRA Best Place to Work Big Data bootcamp BPCI BPTW Bundled Payments Care Communities care coordination Care Navigation Care Team Career Fair CDC Charge Capture Charge Capture App Charge Capture Software Charge Capture Solution Charge Capture Statistics Charge Lag CHIP CIO Clinical Communication Clinical Data Registry Clinically integrated network CMS Communication Company Culture Conferences Connected Health Record culture custom reports Customer Interaction customer success customer support Customers cybersecurity Developer DHHS Dialysis discharge instructions EHR Electronic Charge Capture Encryption epidemic Expansion FDA FHIR Flu fundamentals Goals Health Care Health Care Technology Health Care Web Health Information Exchange Health Record Healthcare HIE HIPAA HIPAA-Compliant HL7 Home dialysis Hospital Census Hospital Communication IA ICD-10 ICD-11 Implementation Improvement Activities interoperability iOS iOS 8 iOS7 iPad iPhone iPhone 6 Lead Generation length of stay MACRA Medical Billing Medical Errors Medical Software Medicare Mentorship Messaging Messaging with Patients MGMA MIPS MIPS Registry mobile Mobile App Mobile Charge Capture Mobile EHR Mobile Health Mobile Messaging Mobile security Mobile Technology Modern Healthcare Native App news NIH OCM Oncology Care Model opioid crisis Patient Patient App Patient Care Patient Generated Health Data Patient Handoff Software Patient Information Patient Safety Patient Visits Patient-Centric pmd pMD Team population health Population Health Management PQRS Product Development Productivity Promoting Interoperability QCDR Quality Scoring Recruiting Recruitment Reimbursement Remote Work reports Residents Responsibility Sales Secure Data Secure Messaging Secure Messaging Video Secure Text Messaging Security Audit SF Biz Times SOC 2 success support TCM Teamwork technology telehealth Telemedicine Text Messaging texting Travel Upgrades VA Value-based care Video Calling Video chat video conferencing Wearable Device wearing many hats Web App Work From Home