Thursday, August 28, 2008

Universal Healthcare....9/01

In case you haven't noticed, when the government owns a program, they really own it.

Healthcare. Something that we've taken for granted that we have some choice in. But, would that be true in a single payor environment? I ran across a blog post that casts some doubt towards that assumption.

It was mentioned in the Coyote Blog, which pulled it from Qando, which sourced the Jewish World Review. I went to the source. What it boils down to is the wishes of the patient, and his family were ignored.

"Golubchuk is an Orthodox Jew, as are his children. The latter have adamantly opposed his removal from the ventilator and feeding tube, on the grounds that Jewish law expressly forbids any action designed to shorten life, and that if their father could express his wishes, he would oppose the doctors acting to deliberately terminate his life."
One would think that a patient's religious beliefs would hold some weight, but not so:
In response, the director of the ICU informed Golubchuk's children that neither their father's wishes nor their own are relevant, and he would do whatever he decided was appropriate. Bill Olson, counsel for the ICU director, told the Canadian Broadcasting Company that physicians have the sole right to make decisions about treatment — even if it goes against a patient's religious beliefs — and that "there is no right to a continuation of treatment."

Notice, this was in Canada...not Russia, not a dictatatorship. But, in some ways it is. The moral of the story is, in bumper sticker logic: "Those who would trade freedom for security deserve neither" -- Benjamin Franklin

But, you say, I'm not Jewish. True, but does your faith have tenants that impact your healthcare? Say, against transfusions? Autopsies? Surgery, or other treatments? I can think of many that do. Separation of Church and State can have an interesting consequence in that situation.

When it happens to my neighbor, it's a shame. When it happens to me, it's a tragedy.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

And Then There Was One....8/25

West Paris RHC is the latest: Brandi Chadwick gave notice and will be working with Dr Cannon.

So, based on Essent's keen understanding, process improvement, financial management, and support of its employees, there will be only one semi-functional Essent run rural health clinic by mid-September.

So, what will be the impact? Maybe not that much. More likelihood of patients going to hospitals other than PRMC. Puckett can refer to Bonham, Higgins to ETMC. The West Paris crowd will probably jam the ER with low acuity. Unless Cooper gets quickly established, Commerce will pick up their patients.

What will it take to keep the RHCs operational? Recruiting new NPs/PAs (with associated fees.) Keeping the rest of the staff intact (less change for patients to absorb.) And be ready for the associated loss of income from the former employees, now competitors, taking their patients with them.

But, it's unlikely that Nashville gets it. They haven't so far....

Friday, August 22, 2008

Top 100....10/17

PRMC made the top 100 hospitals.... Wouldn't you just hate being in one below that? Realize, first off, that it was based on performance improvement, not position. The positional results were announced earlier in the year.

Now follow me, if you will, in a logical fashion: If you are at the bottom, and you move up 20 places in a field of 3000, you might be improving, but are you in the top? Not even close.

Realize too, that they only review data that is sent in from the hospital. And, theoretically, you could be most improved, but still file for bankruptcy....

"Lies, damn lies, and statistics" according to Mark Twain
Note: The graphic is from the math department at Vandy--Vanderbilt also made the list!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Rural Health....9/18

Been by Honey Grove lately? The Puckett Family Clinic is the new game in town, and that has caused quite a stir with the hospital's other rural health clinics. It looks to be doing well, and is up to speed. Drop in some time.

Patricia Higgins was apparently planning something similar, but was informed on by her medical director, at the time, Dr. Green.

The next Friday, in their typical bulldozing fashion, the hospital DEMANDED that the NPs in the remaining clinics sign contracts complete with geographical non-compete clauses by 5PM or they would be summarily terminated. They could also not hold any outside employment to supplement their income.

So, Pat Higgins (Bogata) quit. Annie Patton (Cooper) gave her 30 days notice. Brandi Chadwick (West Paris) refused to sign, but the hospital backed down.

Now this is on top of what they pulled on Jane Tijerina a while back.

The hospital has done so well in providing healthcare to the community, wouldn't you agree? Can you say "Hello Emergency Room...."

...and goodbye to any sense of loyalty by their outlying patients....

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Who Knows....8/25

When is the decision about the blog's anonymity to be made? We haven't heard much of anything lately. Have you been given a deal to lay low, or what?

No, no deals have been offered, or made. I'm suprised as anyone how long this has dragged out. 'pears that a pending decision won't chase away supporters prior to the election, so why give the legal blogs the chance to throw stones? Conversely, why piss off the largest employer (is it still? Figures, please...) in town?

As to why I've been absent as of late, well, that's a good question that I really can't answer yet.

We're all kind of in limbo until the 'big move' to the North Side. Just looking to see who goes north and who leaves...and how it's all going to fit into Essent's master plan.

Heck, maybe they'll be creating a specialty heart hospital, and sell the South to ETMC as acute care. The original population base would have sustained two of that nature, maybe with that mix it still might--unless the area turns vegetarian...Nahhh.... Not with the most popular eatery called The Fish Fry....