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Long-staying patients hurt Jackson's finances

Miami Herald, April 25, 2011

At the end of March, 60 patients had been in Jackson Memorial Hospital for more than 100 days. One had been there 528 days.Most are no longer covered by insurance. They have complex medical problems and are a crushing burden for Miami-Dade's cash-poor public hospital. Many had insurance, but their benefits ran out or didn't come close to paying the cost of their care. Almost all could be sent to a long-term care facility, but none wanted to take them. Five of the patients were from overseas.They symbolize a fundamental financial problem at the Jackson Health System: patients who are hospitalized for long periods of time without insurance coverage. The average patient stays in a Jackson hospital room for 6.7 days. That's far ahead of the 4.1 days of a typical community hospital like Kendall Regional Medical Center, owned by the HCA chain, according to state data. It's also well above the major Broward public hospitals' Broward General at 5.6 days and Memorial Regional at 5.4 days.