Hospitals’ new problem: Patients who cannot leave

Today’s New Jersey Star-Ledger reports today on

“extended stay” hospital patients, who for reasons ranging from insurance problems to lack of family support, remain stranded in their rooms, taking up needed beds for weeks, months, and in rare cases, years… Often, these patients are a reason people are held in the emergency room for hours waiting for a bed on a patient floor.

One reason patients are stranded is the long waiting lists for follow-up care facilities. Another is that no one will accept patients without insurance once their acute care is finished.

Once again the result of a poorly organized health care system is over use of the most expensive resource.

March 6, 2005

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