Monday, July 24, 2017
Checking yourself out of the hospital, rather than being discharged, is known as DAMA (discharge against medical advice). The New York Times ran an article about the challenges in deciding to leave the hospital. The Patient Wants to Leave. The Hospital Says ‘No Way.’ references a recent study that illustrates the issues that may occur for elders who want to leave the hospital. "Though A.M.A. discharges occur far more frequently in younger patients, a recent study in The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society analyzed a large national sample from 2013 and found that 50,650 hospitalizations of patients over age 65 ended with A.M.A. discharges." The article also discusses why folks choose to leave, for example, they feel better, they are worried about money, or they're afraid. The article also discusses the arguments against the DAMA and some confusion about the impact of DAMA on subsequent care. The abstract of the article, Discharge Against Medical Advice of Elderly Inpatients in the United States, elaborates "[d]ischarge against medical advice (DAMA) is associated with greater risk of hospital readmission and higher morbidity, mortality, and costs, but with a rapidly increasing elderly inpatient population, there is a lack of national data on DAMA in this subgroup... Although DAMA rates in individuals aged 65 and older were one fourth of those found in individuals aged 18 to 64, an increasing trend was found in both groups..." To order the article, click here.