Study says hospitals discharging patients early to increase prof - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Study says hospitals discharging patients early to increase profits

A pair of studies showed hospitals could be discharging patients before they are actually healthy enough to leave.

Researchers found for-profit hospitals are trying to crank out as many surgeries as they can because those surgeries bring in cash. They gathered that if a bed is being used up by a patient who is recovering, doctors will send them home prematurely in order to get a new patient checked-in.

These studies from the University of Maryland looked at patient movement at a large academic hospital in the United States. The results show that the fuller a hospital is when a patient is discharged, the more likely they are to have to come back and be re-admitted. Patients let out when the hospital was busiest were 50 percent more likely to be back in within three days.

The researchers said this problem is more likely at large regional hospitals and doesn't happen as often in smaller communities. They cited poor planning and organization in hospitals as reasons patients are being pushed out too early.

Copyright 2012 WAFF. All rights reserved.

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