Date of Award

Summer 2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


Public Health

First Advisor

Elise Bolda, Ph.D.


Patient care, hospitals, Maine Ombudsman’s Hospital Advocacy Program


There is little data available on the complex cause and effect of delayed hospital discharge; however, some evidence suggests that long-stay patients tend to be complex, older, and sicker. In Maine, a 2014 Maine Health Association report found complex hospital patients were waiting weeks, months and sometimes over a year in Maine Hospitals before accessing long-term services and supports. In response to these concerns around delayed discharge from hospitals, the First Regular Session of the 127th Maine Legislature created the Commission to study Difficult to Place Patients. The Commission ultimately passed Legislation that gave the Maine Long- Term Care Ombudsman Program the ability to assist with delayed discharges to decrease these delays and free up hospital beds. This paper will share and analyze preliminary data from this innovative program (approx. 1.5 fiscal years).