Monday, January 26, 2009

January 26 Meeting: Waitlisted patient issues, a symptom of our broken healthcare system

Coral Andrews

Click here to listen.

Speaker: Coral Andrews, Vice President, Healthcare Association of Hawaii

Notes on the meeting:

“The Health Care System is constipated”, declared Andrews. Hawaii’s healthcare system is broken. Symptoms of this broken system are waitlisted patients. These are patients deemed medically ready for discharge and no longer in need of acute care services but who cannot be discharged (due to various barriers) and therefore must remain in the higher cost hospital setting.

A Waitlist Task Force, working under the direction of the Healthcare Association of Hawaii’s (HAH) Board of Directors, studied the waitlist issue and identified four barrier categories that contribute to the waitlisted problem. They are: reimbursement, capacity, regulatory/government and workforce. With waiting lists for any vacancy, nursing homes will select those whose reimbursement is assured, who present no behavior problems, and who require no special treatment for special needs. Especially out of luck because staff has no behavior management training or homes have not the special equipment for the care, are geriatric patients and younger, usually male long-term care patients. Recommendations aimed at addressing these barrier categories are summarized in the 2008 and 2009 Reports to the Legislature. HAH has introduced and will support legislative bills that address these barriers. The full report can be found at .

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