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Saturday, July 11, 2009

Here's a great con to Nationalized Healthcare

Here is one very good reason I am against a nationalized health care system. I discussed with my boss yesterday about the budget. He said his bosses want him to come up with "everything and anything" ideas for further cutting the budget.

He asked me, "Any ideas."

I said, "Create a treatment protocol so we can get rid of all the breathing treatments that are not needed. That would save us a ton of money." (To learn how much money this would actually save our hospital, click here.)

He said, "Rick, you should be happy just to have a job. We need all the procedures right now we can get."

Here's something to consider. The hospital does not get paid by the government per procedure completed, it gets one flat rate for the patent's stay. So, the fewer procedures done while the patient is admitted the more money the hospital would make.

Thus, if Shoreline Medical Center could come up with a protocol to prevent doctors from giving an asthma/COPD medicine just because a patient is short of breath or sounds bad or looks funny (or to prevent bronchodilator abuse), that would save the hospital hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.

What I understand here is that when it comes to cutting the hospital's budget my boss only thinks in terms of his own wallet, while ignoring the wallet of everyone else. What he fails to understand (what many people seem to misunderstand these days) is the government's wallet is OUR money too.

My boss is afraid if we get a protocol, the number of procedures in our department will go down, and someone will lose his or her job. It seems to me many hospital bosses would prefer the procedure than to prevent government waste.

Yes government reform is needed, but not in the direction the current House, Senate and Executive Branch visions. The change we need is to provide an incentive for hospital admins to spend the government's money as wisely as it spends it's own.

As the old saying goes: people are more likely to spend their own money wisely, yet when it comes to spending someone else's money, they appear to be less wise (or is that a saying I just made up). Anyway, it's true.

Feel free to discuss because, as always, I could be mistaken.

(Other than the links above, for more of my opinion on Nationalized Healthcare, click here.)


The Scotts said...

I love your insights. I wish I could convince my RN mother that nationalized health care isn't a good idea.

David in Houston said...

Can we agree that the current system is broken? In Texas two insurance companies control 65% of the market. Since 2000 the profits for the same companies increased over 400%. Use of emergency rooms as primary care is endemic because insurance is no longer affordable, nor offered by many companies. Small employers are dropping health insurance because they can no longer afford to offer it. The cost of individual private coverage is prohibitive, with high deductibles,pre-existing conditions, and recission of policies for individuals that file a claim for a chronic conditions that arise after the policy inception date.

What is the solution?If you say tax credits I'll just roll my eyes and sigh.

Freadom said...

I'd say we can definitely agree the system is broken.