60,000 discharge delay days: 5 things to know from New York hospitals data collection

Complex discharge delays at New York hospitals are resulting in unnecessary long-term boarding in inpatient units and emergency departments, and costing hospitals millions, according to a new report from the Healthcare Association of New York State.

The report, posted online Feb. 21, is based on data voluntarily reported by 52 hospitals on patients experiencing discharge delays between April and June of 2022. 

During the data collection period, the participating hospitals reported the following, according to the association:

  • 1,115 patients affected
  • About 60,000 delay days
  • An average emergency department discharge delay of about two weeks
  • An average hospital inpatient unit discharge delay of two months
  • $169 million in estimated associated costs 

The association also found that children and older adults with medically complex and/or behavioral health conditions experienced the most frequent and longest delays. 

The absence of post-discharge care options, followed by a lack of insurance coverage or means to pay for post-discharge care, and extended administrative processes were among the primary contributing factors to delays, the association said.

The association's report also includes a framework to help ensure patients do not stay in hospitals for months to years after they are ready for discharge.

To read the full report, click here

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