April 12, 2023

Need for Escorts Following Relatively Minor Medical Procedures Questioned

Following even basic screenings and operations, patients often must arrange for someone to help deliver them home — and liability fears have led many health care providers to say that a taxi or rideshare driver taking you to your sidewalk is not sufficient. For many older people, finding someone to escort them back inside their residence is burdensome — and some patient advocates think it is required more frequently than it should be.

Older people across the country describe maddening efforts to find “door-through-door” escorts for outpatient surgery and screenings that involve anesthesia, especially if facilities require those escorts to remain on the premises until the patient’s discharge. Patient advocates say these requirements lead many to skip important preventive care like colonoscopies.

“Health care providers need to think about the consequences of their policies and whether they are actually required,” said Joseph Peters, Jr., Secretary-Treasurer of the Alliance. “When door- through-door escorts are medically necessary, they should at least assist patients by providing them with trusted services that are willing to perform this service at a reasonable cost.”

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