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An acute care unit for elderly medical patients did not increase hospital costs

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To determine the hospital costs of caring for medical patients in a special unit for older people designed to maintain or achieve independence in self care activities compared with usual ward care.


Formal cost analysis of hospital costs taken from data in a randomised controlled trial.


The general medical service of a university hospital in the USA.


650 patients in hospital who were aged ≥ 70 years (mean age 80 y, 67% women, 41% non-white, 40% independent in activities of daily living [ADL] at admission). Patients admitted to the intensive care unit or subspecialty medical wards were excluded.


All patients …

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  • Sources of funding: National Institute on Aging and the John A Hartford Foundation.

  • For article reprint: Dr K E Covinsky, Division of General Internal Medicine and Health Care Research, University Hospitals of Cleveland, 11100 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44106 USA. Fax +1 216 368 0737.