Medical News Update
Hospital Management crisis continues
CEOs are Looting Health Care Revenue
When ABC evening news of April 11th, 1995 reported the salaries of some HMO's chief executive officers as high as fifteen million dollars a year, a painful shock ran through my brain, I was devastated. Hospitals across the nation have initiated cost containment measures to reduce cost, we were told, but they are creating a new sets of CEOs millionaires. Many of the cost containment measures have frustrated nurses and health care workers being forced to work with scanty staff under heavy load of patients in difficult conditions. While some patients are being denied treatments and left to die, some mindless people are looting heath care revenue instead of reducing the cost. What went wrong with human conscience as some insurance companies reward physicians not to treat patients? What in the name of God are these CEOs doing to worth this huge salary? Meanwhile, patients are dying and hospital workers are subjected to slavery conditions to enrich the pockets of these greedy monsters!
Highway robbers in suits!
Can any body disbelieve a health care executive when dressed in expensive suits with brief case in right hand and bragging about how much he is dedicated to patient care in his hospitals? "Dedicated to patient care" is like a magic phrase hypnotizing patients and hospital workers silly. In secret, some CEOs are busy looting health care revenue with permission from the company since they are successful at making workers miserable and killing patients to increase company's profit. What a new sets of highway robbers in suits! Hospitals were never designed as a business, but as a mission of mercy. Today overcommercialization of health care successfully killed the little mercy left and the value of dollar reigns.
Dealing just for money in health care is no longer a secret as reported by St. Louis Post Dispatch of March 5th, 1995 about health clinic deal. The secret deal came to light when one of the dealers Earl Kopp did not get his cut consequently filing a law suit. According to Terry Ganey who reported the story, "They smelled money. They were driven by greed all of them. Everybody saw money and wanted in on the deal." The story started when St. Luke's Hospital of Kansas City wanted to operate a seven million dollar radiology clinic and has to negotiate with Western Missouri Radiology Group of physicians for their cut. However before the clinic project can begin, the hospital has to obtain certificate of need from Health Facilities Review Committee, the agency that issues certificates for new medical facilities. According to the story, Earl Kopp a Kansas City area commercial real estate broker was the deal maker between Charles Lindstrom the hospital's vice president and the physicians group. Kropp and Lindstrom met secretly at Ritz Carlton Hotel in Kansas City for three hours over the deal. Kopp told Lindstrom it would cost $50,000 to hire a lobbyist to influence the committee members to issue the certificate and he also wanted to be paid $540,000 for 27 months to help the hospital improve its image. When the project was over, permit was issued, the doctors' group and hospital had an agreement over the radiology clinic. The hospital agreed to pay the doctors group $500,000 and three percent of all fees at the clinic. Kropp did not get paid, and subsequently sued the doctors and the hospital for payment for his role as a negotiator. His suit was dismissed by a judge.
This is part of the major reasons health care cost will never go down because of highway robbers dressed it expensive suits. They don't care about human life as long as their hands are greased with money. Good heavens what is the world coming to?
Human sacrifice for money
If this sound unbelievable, take the case of Roberto Richardson at St. Vincent's Medical Center in New Jersey where the hospital was charged with Medicaid apartheid. January 29th, 1995, Roberto was brought to emergency room at 6 pm. by Sharon Tramutola a friend. He was gravely ill and could not even walk as he approached the door. Based on their reaction, the emergency room staff could care less with only handful of patients waiting. After a long time subsequent to registration in a poorly serviced emergency room they put Roberto on a gurney and asked Sharon to leave because the visiting hours were over. Roberto later died due to lack of good care.
Hospital Mergers are domed to a giant failure
"The bigger we are the better and stronger we can compete for patients and the more powerful our buying power." That's what we hear today as excuses for merging many hospitals into conglomerate corporate systems of a multi-million dollar industry. But the business managers making this projections overlooked one important aspect of health care today. The government is planning to decrease Medicare/Medicaid payments due to budget shrinking and the insurance companies are trying their best not to pay until the illness kills the patient. Worsening the situation, many hospitals' quality of care will continue to decrease due to cost control forcing patients to stay out of hospitals because of fear as much as possible. Patients and employees are complaining about the state of food served at one area hospital has gone from bad to horrible. The hospital claim the change is better for hospital cost containment but the patients are screaming!
Hospitals mergers cost a lot of money to implement, for example B.J.C system in St. Louis which includes Barnes, Christians and Jewish hospitals will utilize close to 68 million dollars for complete operational merging. Where are they going to recover this operational cost from when the size of patients in hospital population is supposed to be reducing? I wouldn't be surprised if some of the merging hospitals found themselves in the same way TWA is today. Think about what will happen if one giant merger fails and how many hospitals may go under?
Dr. Lonnie R Bristow of AMA's response to HMO's style
Control of health care money by business managers who are non-medical professionals is not new while physicians are struggling to control treatments of patients. Both HMO style and some insurance companies have taken the choice of the practice of medicine out of the hands of physicians and the struggle and fight continue. So far, the business managers are winning to the dissatisfaction of patients and doctors. St. Louis Post Dispatch of May 25th, 1995 as reported by Roger Signor indicated that American Medical Association will push for a federal law this year to give doctors more power over the choices of patient treatments according to Dr. Bristow of AMA in his visit to St. Louis. Dr. Lonnie Bristow who is the president of AMA said the Congress will pass the "Patient Protection Act" because administrator not doctors are making decisions about the standard of care for patients.
The primary reason for writing the book, "Overcoming the Invisible Crime" (352 pages, $19.99 published by Lara Pubs 800-599-7313) is the discussion about dangerous crisis in hospitals across the nation between doctors and business managers over the control of care and the revenue generated. The book reported unimaginable patients and employees disasters and the ominous future of health care being control by business managers without medical training. Some people are envisioning an eminent future collapse of health care economy.
Report by 'Yinka Vidal, OUTCRY Magazine (first reported in June, 1995)
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