Wednesday, March 23, 2005


Occasionally, I end up with a patient with no feasible discharge disposition. He will be sick enough that he still requires some degree of moderate medical attention, but the degree of care needed is far below that which would require on-going hospitalization. However, the patient's needs will be more than what an average family can handle so he can't go home, but the patient doesn't have the resources to pay for a nursing home or home health care nurses and thus cannot go to a rehab facility.

These patients end up staying in the hospital for weeks to months because there is just no place they can go. So the hospital has to take the brunt of it, and absorb the cost of keeping this patient in-house for months. And this cost is eventually reimbursed by the state from taxpayer dollars.

In addition, the families of most of these patients stop coming to visit after only a couple weeks.

It's a sad situation, and I'm watching on of my patients go through this. This morning she asked me if I had seen her daughter recently. It had been over 2 weeks since her daughter even called to check up on her.