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DHA Applauds Passage of Long-Stay Patient Task Force



June 20, 2023
Christina Crooks Bryan
(302) 245-1638
DHA Applauds Passage of Resolution Establishing a Long-Stay Patient Task Force 

Task Force will address barriers unnecessarily keeping patients in hospitals  
(DOVER, DE – June 20, 2023) Today, the Delaware General Assembly approved Senate Concurrent Resolution 64, introduced by Senator Nicole Poore and Representative Kerri Evelyn Harris to help address long-stay patients – those patients who have been in the hospital for 15 days or more but no longer have an acute medical need warranting hospitalization. Unfortunately, these individuals are awaiting transition because access to a more appropriate care settings is unavailable. SCR 64 establishes a task force to study and make recommendations aimed at reducing the barriers that prevent these long-stay patients from being discharged from the hospital and transitioned home or to a more appropriate care setting.
“Far too many patients get stuck in Delaware hospitals long after their acute care medical needs have been addressed. This unnecessarily increases health care costs, emergency department wait times and has a negative impact on the long-stay patients who should no longer be confined to a hospital bed,” said Megan McNamara Williams, Interim CEO, Delaware Healthcare Association. “We thank Senator Poore and Representative Harris for their leadership on this issue and look forward to the work of the Task Force that will provide these patients some relief.” 
A recent Delaware Healthcare Association survey found that as of January 31, 2023:
The barriers that prevent long-stay patients from leaving the hospital may include: lack of insurance coverage or delayed insurance authorization; delays in the guardianship process; lack of beds or staffing to support admission to long term care facilities; and, comorbidities in patients that may prevent their access to behavioral health facilities.
The Task Force created by the resolution will bring together stakeholders from across the healthcare system to address existing barriers and work toward solutions. The Task Force will produce a report that includes any findings or recommendations and submit the report to the Governor and General Assembly by June 1, 2024. 
About the Delaware Healthcare Association
The Delaware Healthcare Association (DHA) was formed in 1967 and is a statewide trade and membership services organization that represents and serves hospitals, health systems, and related health care organizations in their role of providing a continuum of appropriate, cost-effective, quality care to improve the health of the people of Delaware. DHA’s mission is to provide policy and advocacy leadership in creating an excellent environment to support our members in helping every Delawarean to be as healthy as they can be.

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