How reliable is Medicaid Covered Inpatient Days in the MAX Inpatient Hospital (IP) data?
Medicaid Covered Inpatient Days from MAX IP records should be used with caution. In many cases, the Medicaid Covered Inpatient Days data element accurately reflects Length of Stay (LOS), but in some cases Medicaid covered Inpatient Days can be an inaccurate measure of LOS. Here are some selected examples:
For these and other reasons, the claims adjustment process may cause the Medicaid Covered Inpatient Days data element to have a value that is inconsistent with the beginning and ending dates of service. To determine LOS, researchers are urged to calculate the value instead of using Medicaid Covered Inpatient Days. The most accurate calculation is to count the number of days from the beginning date of service to the ending date of service plus one day. There should be no inpatient hospital stays with LOS = 0. If a patient was admitted and discharged on the same day, LOS = 1.