Centre Daily Times / Associated Press, March 13, 2014
Patients who no longer need acute medical care but remain in Hawaii hospitals cost those facilities nearly $63 million a year, says a study released Wednesday by the Hawaii Health Information Corporation. These "waitlisted" patients stay too long at hospitals because they don't have access to specialized care anywhere else. Cheaper options often aren't available in Hawaii for patients who need special equipment for treatment, who suffer from mental illnesses or who could be treated in a nursing home with a specialist. That leaves hospitals to fill the cost and care gap. The nonprofit HHIC collects and analyzes the state's health data. The study examined records from Hawaii's 15 acute care hospitals from 2006 to 2011.