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ARTICLE |

The Frail, the Old, and Diagnosis Related Groups

Milford Fulop, MD
JAMA. 1987;257(15):2030. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03390150046010.
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To the Editor.—  The present diagnosis related groups recognize the greater difficulty and cost of caring for elderly patients by providing higher reimbursement in some diagnostic categories for those over 70 years of age than for younger patients. That permits hospitals the option of either providing more nursing care (or other support) for patients over 70 years of age or else keeping them longer. However, that does not go far enough. Physicians who care for elderly patients know that they are often weaker, more fragile, and slower than younger people. Those difficulties are far greater in patients over 75 to 80 years of age.Just as it is more difficult to care for the average 70-year-old than the average 50-year-old who has the same illness, it is far more difficult and time-consuming to care for the average 80-year-old. Such patients are usually much more difficult and slower to return to

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