NYC homeless hospitalized longer than other poor patients/study

Tom Boland (wgcp@earthlink.net)
Thu, 11 Jun 1998 19:20:29 -0700 (PDT)


http://search.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/WAPO/19980610/V000184-061098-idx.html
FWD  Associated Press - June 10, 1998


     STUDY: HOMELESS HOSPITALIZED LONGER


BOSTON (AP) -- New York City's homeless typically stay in public hospitals
three days longer than other poor patients, often because there is no place
to send them after treatment, a study found.

The extra days in the hospital mean the homeless can cost several thousand
dollars more to treat than other people with similar illnesses.

The analysis, conducted by Sharon A. Salit of the city's Health and
Hospitals Corp., was published in Thursday's New England Journal of
Medicine.

The researchers looked at the data on 18,864 homeless adults admitted to
New York City's public hospitals, then compared them to 383,986
non-maternity admissions to all the city's general hospitals in 1992 and
1993.

They found that the homeless spent an average of 16 days in the hospital,
compared with 13 for other public hospital patients and 11 for low-income
people admitted to private hospitals.

Because of the longer stays, hospital bills for the homeless averaged
$2,414 more than for other low-income patients admitted to public and
private hospitals.

Half of the homeless patients were admitted for treatment of mental illness
or alcohol or drug abuse.

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