To the Editor: Pankratz and Jackson (Dec. 29 issue)1 identified 35 men as habitually wandering patients (discharged from four or more Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers annually between 1988 and 1992), and observed that little is known about the presenting symptoms of such patients. Although the report by Pankratz and Jackson provides valuable information, it is unfortunate that they relied exclusively on diagnostic-related-group (DRG) codes for data on the patients' conditions. Because a single DRG code is assigned per episode, the use of these codes severely limits the assessment of comorbid conditions among patients with multiple disorders. We used.
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