Thursday, August 23, 2012

Bureaucratically Defying Logic

You are sick. You are hospitalized. You are older. You recover to a point where further hospitalization is not deemed necessary and like most rational people you would rather be at home in familiar surroundings with family than in the hospital. You go home.

A few weeks later you have a recurrence or maybe another issue. You are readmitted. The hospital takes a financial hit because you don't fit the Obamacare model.

Hospitals Fined For Treating Sick People

Is that the most ridiculous concept you've ever encountered? What would be the alternative? Extend hospitalization at great cost and squandering resources which could be better applied? Keep them because you might have to readmit them.

Or, maybe deny healthcare because they've already used their quota of care for the month? Doesn't that sound a lot like the somewhat hysterically named "Death Panels"?

Seriously, the death panel concept was a euphemism for bureaucratic rationing of healthcare without regard to medical necessity. It was budget over medicine.

Now, apparently we can see the future and it isn't sunny.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

We in the medical field are already aware that about 30% of the hospitals in this country will be closing in within the next ten years. Just as the baby boomers are really beginning to need them.

At the ministry of hope and healing where I am mainly employed we have a full time staff, 24/7, to review admissions and try to fit them into a criteria that will allow us to be paid by medicare and medicaid (as a state hospital they are our main payers). We also have a consultant group on hand to help us get paid by them, at $200. per patient filed. They have to review every Medicare re-admit within 30 days, since we already do not get paid for those unless we can prove it is unrelated to the previous admission. No matter that very few patients actually do as recommended by their physicians, we still take the hit on pay. Due to EMTALA, 30% of ER visits are not paid, as that was an unfunded mandate. Medicaid in my state only pays for 20 hospital days, though for several diseases the national standard of care is 30 days admission and monitoring, and that is if there are no complications so we lose money on every one of those patients and that is why no other hospital in the state treats those diseases. Which makes it much more expensive for patient's families as well since they have to stay here and buy food or drive a long distance to visit.
Sorry this was so long, but as you can tell it's one of my buttons.