Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Hospitals: The Cost of Admission

The Texas Medical Association has said repeatedly that physicians should work for the patient not the insurance company, hospital, or anyone else not directly responsible for the care of the patient. CBS’ “60 Minutes” uncovered what can happen when a corporation’s bottom line does come before patient care.

The program investigated allegations that hospitals owned by Health Management Associates (HMA) ordered physicians to admit patients — regardless of medical need — in order to boost hospital revenue. Generally speaking, the more patients admitted to a hospital and the more tests ordered for each patient, the more money the hospital makes. But when patients are admitted for care they do not need and receive tests that are medically unnecessary, the patients lose valuable time and money, risk exposure to hospital-acquired infections, and experience increased stress and worry over their health.

This HMA business strategy “has nothing to do with patient safety and patient care, it has everything to do with generating revenues,” said Scott Rankin, MD, one of the physicians interviewed by CBS who used to practice at an HMA-owned hospital.

Watch the full video below.

Watch another video of a Texas physician in a similar situation: “When Hospitals Play Doctor

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