Healthcare News & Insights

Patients who check out against medical advice cost hospitals more

Patients who leave the hospital without a doctor’s OK aren’t just putting themselves at risk, they’re raising the cost of care.

A new report shows that heart patients who left against medical advice were more likely to be readmitted to the hospital. And when they were readmitted, the cost of caring for them was 9% higher than other cardiac patients.

That’s according to a study by University of Maryland School of Pharmacy researchers.

The researchers analyzed medical records of more than 374,000 heart patients treated between 2000 and 2005.

The most common reasons patients give for leaving against medical advice are childcare issues, fear of missing work/needing to pick up their paychecks or a desire to see their own doctor.

The report will be presented at the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research meeting in Atlanta.

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