Welcome to my blog, a place to explore and learn about the experience of running a psychiatric practice. I post about things that I find useful to know or think about. So, enjoy, and let me know what you think.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Red, Gold, and Green

Did you guys see this in the NYTimes?

Hospital Chain Said to Scheme to Inflate Bills

Every day the scorecards went up, where they could be seen by all of the hospital’s emergency room doctors.
Physicians hitting the target to admit at least half of the patients over 65 years old who entered the emergency department were color-coded green. The names of doctors who were close were yellow. Failing physicians were red
The scorecards, according to one whistle-blower lawsuit, were just one of the many ways that Health Management Associates, a for-profit hospital chain based in Naples, Fla., kept tabs on an internal strategy that regulators and others say was intended to increase admissions, regardless of whether a patient needed hospital care, and pressure the doctors who worked at the hospital.

There are 8 whistle-blower lawsuits in 6 states against HMA. They fired a woman for refusing to fire the doctors who wouldn't comply with the demand. They admitted an infant for a fever of 98.7. They didn't reveal to their shareholders that they were being sued until after the shareholders voted for them to merge with a larger hospital corporation. And the piddling little $10 million dollar fines they're being threatened with are so minuscule to these people that they might as well be threatened with ice cream for dinner.

I'm having such a party. There it is, black on white in the NYTimes. You wanna point fingers at wasted health care dollars? Maybe the doctors aren't the culprits you've imagined them to be. I'm surprised these are only whistle blower suits. There must have been some iatrogenic deaths.

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