• Utilization rates for total cholecystectomy by diagnosis related group in Sacramento, Calif, and Syracuse, NY, between 1981 and 1984 were studied. The two areas had similar hospital discharge rates and bed supplies. The data included 8989 discharges. Discharge rates for the combined cholecystectomy diagnosis related groups differed by only 1% to 3%. Syracuse mean stays for these categories exceeded those of Sacramento by 34% to 38% and were the principal cause of differences in hospital utilization for the procedure. These differences were related to more conservative community-wide physician practice patterns in Syracuse rather than to differences in the composition of the samples by age and payor status, or to the impact of length of stay variability. In the future, shorter stays for cholecystectomy, such as those of Sacramento, may become the norm for the entire nation.
(Arch Surg 1986;121:1006-1009)