Overstays cost Hawaii hospitals $63M per year


HONOLULU (AP) — Patients who no longer need acute medical care but who remain in Hawaii hospitals cost those hospitals nearly $63 million a year.

That was the finding of a new study by the Hawaii Health Information Corporation. The nonprofit company collects and analyzes the state's health data. The study examined records from Hawaii's 15 acute care hospitals from 2006 to 2011.

Patients are called waitlisted when they remain in hospitals but could be treated in other settings if those settings were available. Examples are patients who need special equipment for treatment, who suffer from mental illnesses or who could be treated in a nursing home.

Two-thirds of waitlisted patients in Hawaii are covered by Medicare. They wind up using expensive hospital resources for which the government insurer does not reimburse hospitals.

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