Navigation Links
Study: Homeless patients cost $2,500 more than the average patient for each hospital stay
Date:3/9/2011

TORONTO, ON., March 8, 2011Homeless patients cost about $2,500 more per hospital stay than the average patient, according to a new study by researchers at St. Michael's Hospital.

Homeless people with medical or surgical problems arrive at the hospital with underlying health issues and stay longer than others, often because there is no place to send them after their initial medical crisis has been treated, the study found. Those with psychiatric illness arrive at the hospital much sicker than others.

The findings suggest the cost of hospitalizing people who are homeless "has a substantial impact on the health care system," said Dr. Stephen Hwang, the lead author of the study and a research scientist with the hospital's Center for Research on Inner City Health.

The study appears in the March issue of Medical Care, a journal of the American Public Health Association.

Hwang analyzed data for 90,345 housed patients and 3,081 homeless patients admitted over five years to St. Michael's, a 500-bed hospital in downtown Toronto that accounts for about one-quarter of all hospitalizations of homeless people in the city.

After adjusting for age, sex, and the severity of the illness, a hospital stay for patients who were homeless cost $2,559 more than patients who were housed. Hwang's past research has shown that hospitalizations are common in this disadvantaged population: In one year, 100 homeless people will have about 23 hospitalizations, compared to only five hospitalizations among 100 people in the general population. The average cost of a hospital stay among patients in the study was $13,500.

Hwang found that homeless people with medical or surgical problems often stay in hospital after they no longer need acute care because they are awaiting discharge to another health care institution such as rehabilitation or long-term care facility, or because they are not well enough to return to a shelter or the shelter is unable to receive them.

Previous studies have found respite facilities -- also known as infirmaries -- are an effective and less expensive alternative to keeping homeless patients in the hospital. In contrast to traditional shelters, infirmaries do not require homeless people to leave each morning and they provide nursing and medical care. There is only one infirmary facility open to all homeless men and women in Toronto, at the Sherbourne Health Centre. A second infirmary at Seaton House accepts primarily men who were living at Seaton House prior to their hospitalization.

The higher costs for hospitalizing homeless people with psychiatric problems is probably due to the severity of their illness when they are admitted, Hwang said. This could reflect both the limited availability of mental health services for the homeless in the community and the necessity to have severe symptoms to be hospitalized.

"Assertive outreach through community mental health programs may lower costs by preventing or reducing the duration of psychiatric hospitalizations among homeless people," he said.

James Weaver, a co-author of the study, noted that the extra $2,500 for hospitalizing a homeless person is almost exactly the same figure as that found in the only other study on the topic, conducted in New York City in 1998.

"The fact that excess hospitalization costs for homeless people were observed in this study conducted in Canada shows that these higher costs are not eliminated by the presence of universal health insurance," he said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Leslie Shepherd
shepherdl@smh.ca
416-864-6094
St. Michael's Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Study: Negative classroom environment adversely affects childrens mental health
2. Ohio State study: Targeted ovarian cancer therapy not cost-effective
3. Study: Facebook photo sharing reflects focus on female appearance
4. Study: Happiness improves health and lengthens life
5. New study: Medical and financial impact of drug-related poisonings treated in US EDs
6. Global ISU study: Invasive species widespread, but not more than at home range
7. Study: For a better workday, smile like you mean it
8. Study: Consumers value safer food more than current analyses suggest
9. Study: African-American men say doctor visits are often a bad experience
10. Pitt study: End-of-life decisions take longer if patient hasnt shared wishes with family
11. Study: Abuse rates higher among deaf and hard-of-hearing children compared with hearing youths
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... A recent article published ... unfamiliar with. The article goes on to state that individuals are now more comfortable ... less common operations such as calf and cheek reduction. The Los Angeles area medical ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Marcy was in a crisis. Her son James, eight, was out ... family verbally and physically. , “When something upset him, he couldn’t control his emotions,” remembers ... would throw rocks at my other children and say he was going to kill them. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Dr. ... accelerated orthodontic treatment. Dr. Cheng has extensive experience with all areas of orthodontics, ... and accelerated osteogenic orthodontics. , Micro-osteoperforation is a revolutionary adjunct to orthodontic ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... People across the U.S. are sharpening their ... Award, an essay contest in which patients and their families pay tribute to a ... the 2016 National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) Annual Education Conference (AEC) this September. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Puradigm® & Innovative Solutions ... initiated cultivation and processing operations at its production facility, and opened its first ... is the manufacturer of a complete system of proactive air and surface purification ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... 24, 2016  Arkis BioSciences, a leading innovator ... more durable cerebrospinal fluid treatments, today announced it ... funding is led by Innova Memphis, followed by ... private investors.  Arkis, new financing will accelerate the ... market release of its in-licensed Endexo® technology. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... a startling report released today, National Safety Council research ... proven plan to eliminate prescription opioid overdoses. Prescription Nation ... tackling the worst drug crisis in recorded U.S. history, assigned a ... , New Mexico , Tennessee ... failing states, three – Michigan , ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Bracket , a leading clinical trial technology and specialty ... Bracket eCOA (SM) 6.0, at the 52 nd ... in Philadelphia , Pennsylvania.  A demonstration of ... its kind to fully integrate with RTSM, will be held ... a flexible platform for electronic clinical outcomes assessments that is ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: