During the past two decades, America's health care market has undergone a radical transformation. Many purchasers of health insurance, squeezed by rising health costs, have swithed from fee-for-service health insurance to managed care plans (i.e., plans that attempt to contain costs by controlling the provision of services). The rise of managed care coincided with a dramatic reduction in the average length of potpartum stays. In 1970, the average postpartum length of stay for vaginal deliveries in the United States was 3.9 days; the comparable rate in 1993 was 2.0 days. In a survey undertaken in 1995, half of all new mothers who had vaginal deliveries said they were discharged in one day or less. The primary research objective of this dissertation is to shed light on the health benefits and resource costs of increasing the length of postpartum stays.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation dissertation series. Pardee RAND dissertations are produced by graduate fellows of the Pardee RAND Graduate School, the world's leading producer of Ph.D.'s in policy analysis. The dissertations are supervised, reviewed, and approved by a Pardee RAND faculty committee overseeing each dissertation.
Permission is given to duplicate this electronic document for personal use only, as long as it is unaltered and complete. Copies may not be duplicated for commercial purposes. Unauthorized posting of RAND PDFs to a non-RAND Web site is prohibited. RAND PDFs are protected under copyright law. For information on reprint and linking permissions, please visit the RAND Permissions page.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.