Douglas Almond: No Extended Hospital Stay Benefits for New Mothers

The American Economic Association published an article by Professor Douglas Almond entitled "After Midnight: A Regression Discontinuity Design in Length of Postpartum Hospital Stays" in the August issue of the American Economic Journal: Economic Policy. The paper was co-written with MIT Professor Joseph J. Doyle, Jr. 

"After Midnight: A Regression Discontinuity Design in Length of Postpartum Hospital Stays," finds that longer hospital stays following childbirth do not yield detectable health benefits, at least in the short run. In the paper, Professors Almond and Doyle analyze hospital discharge data linked to birth and death certificates for all births in California from 1991 to 2002 and find that while additional health care coverage can lead to substantial extensions in the length of hospital stays for mothers and newborns, these stays have no effect on readmissions or mortality.