I have often worried about what a hotel would do if I didn’t check out in time. Recently, my husband was competing in a race out of town and we had to decide whether to (1) ask permission to use the room for another hour, or (2) wait and see if we got kicked out. I don’t like breaking the rules and was delighted when my request was quickly honored without hesitation.
Apparently, Americans are having the same awkward experience with hospitals. They are told it is time to go, they want to stay a little bit longer because they do not feel ready to go, and what happens? According to today’s Wall Street Journal, these patients are coming back to the hospital.
Ron Winslow writes about a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association which reflects that heart failure patients are returning to the hospital for second hospitalizations, at alarming rates. Sadly, this recidivism is costing all of us, not to mention the health of those who may have needed a late check out so to speak.
So why do it? Save a few dollars and make a few more.
The risks? People may come back needing additional care?
The solution? I would venture to say there is not yet a consensus on this – perhaps some would say more outpatient follow up… but a day or 2 more of acute care might also be an option.
I know I have heard many folks call our office concerned their loved ones were sent to nursing homes, or home before they were stable enough.
If this happens to you – be an advocate. Make sure if your loved one needs that extra help, that they get it. After all, if you are sent home and do not approve – you will be right back in their hospital needing help.