Medicare's 3-Day Rule: Time for a Rethink.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

A pilot study was undertaken to examine the impact of Medicare's 3-day rule on length of stay (LOS). One hundred consecutive patients who underwent primary total joint arthroplasty and were discharged to extended care facilities were retrospectively reviewed. Based on readiness for discharge criteria, delaying discharge until the third postoperative day increased LOS by 1.1 days (P<0.001). 60.6% of patients were ready for discharge by the second postoperative day, none of whom required re-admission within 30 days of discharge. There were no rehabilitation gains by staying an additional hospital day beyond readiness for discharge (P=0.092). This pilot study calls into question the value of Medicare's 3-day rule and demonstrates the feasibility and need for further research to address this seemingly antiquated policy.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Halawi, MJ; Vovos, TJ; Green, CL; Wellman, SS; Attarian, DE; Bolognesi, MP

Published Date

  • September 2015

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 30 / 9

Start / End Page

  • 1483 - 1484

PubMed ID

  • 25922314

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1532-8406

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.arth.2015.03.038


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States