Baxter Regional Medical Center’s Dr. Schmidt, Dr. Godfrey, Dr. Goodwin and Dr. Wilber are the Top 4 Arkansas Physicians with the Lowest Average Length of Stay for Heart Failure

In Heart Failure

By: Jeffrey Maser  Feb. 09, 2018

A Dexur study of 2013 - 2016 Medicare inpatient data from CMS indicates that Dr. Richard D. Schmidt, of Baxter Regional Medical Center, reported the lowest average length of stay (LOS) for heart failure out of all Arkansas physicians at 3.6 days. Baxter Regional, located in Mountain Home, is also the practicing hospital for the 2nd through 4th ranked physicians for lowest average length of stay in the state. Dr. Lincoln Alexander Godfrey and Dr. Daniel C. Goodwin both reported a 3.9 day average length of stay to tie for 2nd in the rankings and Dr. Stephen R. Wilber ranked 4th with a 4.1 day average length of stay. Dr. Christopher Robin Clark, of Mercy Hospital Northwest Arkansas in Rogers, also recorded a 4.1 day average LOS to tie for 4th in the rankings. Dr. Melissa Dirst-Roberts, yet another Baxter Regional physician, tied with two other physicians to rank 6th overall at 4.3 days.

Average length of stay was measured for Arkansas physicians between January 2013 - December 2016 for DRG-291, which represents heart failure and shock with major complication or comorbidity. This specific DRG was selected for the study as it is the highest volume diagnosis related group within heart failure. Between 2013 and 2016, U.S. Medicare enrollees accounted for a total of 928,222 DRG-291 discharges, including 11,195 discharges from enrollees from Arkansas.

With six physicians from Baxter Regional Medical Center accounting for very low average LOS compared to the rest of the state, it is not surprising that the hospital itself also reported the lowest average length of stay of all major Arkansas facilities during the analyzed time period. Baxter Regional accounted for a 4.22 day average LOS, which was over a day and a half lower than the national average of 5.79 days for U.S. Medicare enrollees. The average LOS for Arkansas Medicare enrollees, specifically, was just over one quarter of a day lower than the national average at 5.22 days. Even more impressive is the metric for 2016 alone; Baxter Regional accounted for a 3.99 day average length of stay between January - December 2016.

Arkansas Physicians with the Lowest Average Length of Stay for DRG-291 (January 2013 - December 2016)
Average Length of Stay Rank (Lowest to Highest)Physician NamePracticing HospitalPracticing Hospital CityAverage Length of Stay (Days)
U.S. Medicare Enrollees5.79
Arkansas Medicare Enrollees5.51
1Dr. Richard D SchmidtBaxter Regional Medical CenterMountain Home3.6
2Dr. Lincoln Alexander GodfreyBaxter Regional Medical CenterMountain Home3.9
3Dr. Daniel C GoodwinBaxter Regional Medical CenterMountain Home3.9
4Dr. Stephen R. WilberBaxter Regional Medical CenterMountain Home4.1
5Dr. Christopher Robin ClarkMercy Hospital Northwest ArkansasRogers4.1
6Dr. Melissa Dirst-RobertsBaxter Regional Medical CenterMountain Home4.3
7Dr. Benjamin Wagner CarlyleUnity Health - White County Medical CenterSearcy4.3
8Dr. Christopher Ryan Flood PeaseMercy Hospital Fort SmithFort Smith4.3
9Dr. Mohammad Nurul AnowerMercy Hospital Fort Smith / Sparks Regional Medical CenterFort Smith4.5
10Dr. Michael C. FischerBaptist Health Medical Center - North Little RockNorth Little Rock4.5


  1. DRG-291 Average Length of Stay for the 10 Arkansas Hospitals with the Lowest Average Length of Stay for DRG-291 between January 2013 - December 2016


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Jeffrey Maser

Jeffrey Maser is an analyst. He truly loves working with numbers and enjoys the challenge of turning healthcare data into a resource that real patients can use to help make important decisions. Jeff's passion for data will serve him well in his quest to become the top mind in Fantasy Hockey. He previously worked at Truven Health Analytics, now a part of IBM Watson Health, and is a graduate of Brandeis University.