Two studies have become rapiers in the duel over mandated hospital stays for mastectomy patients.
One study, released last month by the American College of Surgeons, not surprisingly recommends longer stays for mastectomy patients. The ACS supports mandated stays.
The other study, prepared by the actuarial and benefits consulting firm Milliman & Robertson, suggests that shorter stays for mastectomy patients are medically safe. The managed-care industry, which opposes mandated stays, backs the Milliman guidelines.
The ACS study is based on a survey of 100 surgeons, who recommended appropriate lengths of stay for 36 surgical procedures. The study then compared the results with length-of-stay guidelines developed by Milliman.
The ACS study found Milliman's stays tended to be shorter than those recommended by the surgeons.