Every day, thousands of Californians languish in hospitals when they no
longer need to be there, victims of insurance companies delaying or denying the
care they need. These patients are caught up in “discharge delays” — a term for
the hundreds of thousands of cases every year in California where care
following a hospital visit is not provided when it is needed and patients are
stranded in the hospital, as insurance companies openly disregard the clinical
guidance of doctors and nurses.
This happens because insurance companies require that their organizations —
rather than doctors or other clinicians — authorize care before it is provided.
This creates significant problems — worse health for patients, greater
likelihood of needing long-term care or institutionalization, more pressure on
health care workers, and increased health care costs for all.