Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Youngwhan Song




healthcare, expenditure, hospital, demographics, spending


With the continuously growing healthcare expenditure, it is important to examine the causes of this phenomenon. Length of hospital stay is one possible cause. Using the panel data from 2001 – 2008 Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project,, Center for Disease Control and Prevention Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, Almanac of Hospital Financial & Operating Indicators 2007, and Current Population Survey March Supplements, this paper utilizes regression analysis to investigate geographic variation on the length of stay, focusing on the relationship between the different insurance types and the length of stay. As a variety of insurance types offers different reimbursement rates, hospitals may discharge patients earlier, thereby affecting the length of stay. In addition to the effect of insurance, this paper examines the effect of other factors such as demographics, lifestyle, and supply availabilities on the length of stay. The study finds that there is a state-level variation in the length of stay and that length of stay varies depending on the percentage of people covered by different insurance types. This calls for legislation changes in some states to reduce healthcare spending.