Sunday, June 28, 2009

Health Care in the nitty gritty

The ongoing debate over what to do about health care, health care costs, plans, choice, all the ingredients in the ongoing mess that is health care can all be seen in a nice bit of reporting by one of our local reporters. This article examines a local hospital and its dispute with one of the largest insurance companies, Anthem. When I read the article, I get the distinct feeling that everyone is angling here for more money using all the usual words, fairness, etc, but patient care is completely lost. An interesting short sighted solution has apparently lead to this problem: in an attempt to reduce medical costs, more and more services are moved away from the four walls of the hospital (because costs are higher there). But that move reduces the revenue stream of the hospital, so the hospital reaches out to the off campus sites, incorporates them into the hospital (through accounting categories) and then can bill at the higher rate. So, a cost savings measure leads to an unsustainble economy for the hospital which in turn plays accounting games to raise costs.

In the local case, the hospital cites the possible loss of three medical oncology pratices. I don't know if that means all medical oncology would be absent in Terre Haute. Perhaps three practices are not sustainable in this area, I don't know.

But this article, I think, lays out the real issues better than do the big stories, becuase this brings it home.

No comments:

Blog Directory - Blogged The Steiger Counter at Blogged