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(The New York Times)   So... how would privatized health care actually work? If only there were a huge, for-profit hospital system owned by Bain Capital and Senator Frist's family that could give us some insight... *wavy dream transition*   (nytimes.com) divider line 115
    More: Interesting, Bill Frist, hospital system, Bain Capital, HCA, Medicare fraud, private sector, digital billboard, WHISTLE-BLOWER Dr. Abraham Awwad  
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2786 clicks; posted to Politics » on 15 Aug 2012 at 12:21 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-08-15 12:03:27 PM
FTA: In late 2008, for instance, HCA changed the billing codes it assigned to sick and injured patients who came into the emergency rooms. Almost overnight, the numbers of patients who HCA said needed more care, which would be paid for at significantly higher levels by Medicare, surged.

So they increased their own profits by taking advantage of the government run medical payment processes?

The article goes on to note that at least one private insurance company questioned the new billing process and got at least a partial refund.

Makes you wonder what is going to happen to HCA's profits when Medicare gets its funding slashed, like the GOP wants to do....
 
2012-08-15 12:11:57 PM
Patients whose ailments were not deemed urgent were told to go somewhere else, like a free clinic, or that they could be treated if they paid the co-payment for their insurance or around $150 in cash.

Jesus Christ.

Do these people still take the Hippocratic Oath, or has it been replaced by the Greed is Good speech in "Wall Street"?
 
2012-08-15 12:18:06 PM
Many doctors interviewed at various HCA facilities said they had felt increased pressure to focus on profits under the private equity ownership. "Their profits are going through the roof, but, unfortunately, it's occurring at the expense of patients," said Dr. Abraham Awwad, a kidney specialist in St. Petersburg, Fla

Thanks a lot, Obamacare!
 
2012-08-15 12:23:40 PM
You mean... privatized health care would be focused on profits at the expense of patient care? Shocking.
 
2012-08-15 12:23:56 PM
I think that it wouldn't wouldn't.........
 
2012-08-15 12:24:55 PM

what_now: Patients whose ailments were not deemed urgent were told to go somewhere else, like a free clinic, or that they could be treated if they paid the co-payment for their insurance or around $150 in cash.

Jesus Christ.

Do these people still take the Hippocratic Oath, or has it been replaced by the Greed is Good speech in "Wall Street"?


Actually, we got that talk from the private insurance as well. They said, basically, if your arm isn't falling off, try heading to an emergency care facility rather then the ER, as it's far cheaper for you, and them. Ditto for going to small clinics for illnesses instead of large hospitals.
 
2012-08-15 12:28:38 PM

Antimatter: what_now: Patients whose ailments were not deemed urgent were told to go somewhere else, like a free clinic, or that they could be treated if they paid the co-payment for their insurance or around $150 in cash.

Jesus Christ.

Do these people still take the Hippocratic Oath, or has it been replaced by the Greed is Good speech in "Wall Street"?

Actually, we got that talk from the private insurance as well. They said, basically, if your arm isn't falling off, try heading to an emergency care facility rather then the ER, as it's far cheaper for you, and them. Ditto for going to small clinics for illnesses instead of large hospitals.


It's not a crazy idea at all. If you don't have an emergency, you shouldn't be in the emergency room. It wastes money and it overloads the system so hospitals are then stretched thin to deal with the REAL emergencies.
 
2012-08-15 12:30:17 PM
makes a shiatload more billing medicare


gets mad at you didn't build that quote
 
2012-08-15 12:30:23 PM
If you make money by treating sick people you don't ever want to run out of sick people, so the last thing in the world you do is cure something.

In fact making more sick people increases profit, so bring out the smallpox blankets!!!

And god forbid you use the cheapest solution if you want to maximize revenues.
 
2012-08-15 12:31:23 PM

Edsel: Antimatter: what_now: Patients whose ailments were not deemed urgent were told to go somewhere else, like a free clinic, or that they could be treated if they paid the co-payment for their insurance or around $150 in cash.

Jesus Christ.

Do these people still take the Hippocratic Oath, or has it been replaced by the Greed is Good speech in "Wall Street"?

Actually, we got that talk from the private insurance as well. They said, basically, if your arm isn't falling off, try heading to an emergency care facility rather then the ER, as it's far cheaper for you, and them. Ditto for going to small clinics for illnesses instead of large hospitals.

It's not a crazy idea at all. If you don't have an emergency, you shouldn't be in the emergency room. It wastes money and it overloads the system so hospitals are then stretched thin to deal with the REAL emergencies.


Thankfully, every citizen is given a complete, comprehensive medical course so that they can swiftly and accurately diagnose themselves and their friends/family meaning that no matter what is wrong with them, they will always know exactly what to do.

Or we would have that, if not for OBAMACARE!!!1!!11
 
2012-08-15 12:31:40 PM

what_now: Patients whose ailments were not deemed urgent were told to go somewhere else, like a free clinic, or that they could be treated if they paid the co-payment for their insurance or around $150 in cash.

Jesus Christ.

Do these people still take the Hippocratic Oath, or has it been replaced by the Greed is Good speech in "Wall Street"?


The doctors do, but the hospital administration doesn't take the Oath. So as long as they keep potential patients away from doctors until the hospital has been paid, nobody's breaking any rules. And that way, everybody wins!
 
2012-08-15 12:33:52 PM
Good ol' human $uffering
 
2012-08-15 12:34:00 PM
Walmart is already opening up clinics; retail chains are probably the future of medicine, just like it's been the future of everything else.
 
2012-08-15 12:34:09 PM
Among the secrets to HCA's success: It figured out how to get more revenue from private insurance companies, patients and Medicare by billing much more aggressively for its services than ever before; it found ways to reduce emergency room overcrowding and expenses; and it experimented with new ways to reduce the cost of its medical staff, a move that sometimes led to conflicts with doctors and nurses over concerns about patient care.

For-profit health care that maximizes profits by gouging and cutting care is not only unwise and immoral it should also be illegal.

Seriously, why do so many Americans seem to have no problem with third world access to one of life's essentials?
 
2012-08-15 12:34:10 PM
FTFA:

HCA decided not to treat patients who came in with nonurgent conditions, like a cold or the flu or even a sprained wrist, unless those patients paid in advance

sounds horrible

During the Great Recession, when many hospitals across the country were nearly brought to their knees by growing numbers of uninsured patients, one hospital system not only survived - it thrived.

They are obviously worse than Hitler...

/sarcasm.
 
2012-08-15 12:34:18 PM
I feel like shiat, so I'll just go to St God's and see if the butt probe can figure it out.
 
2012-08-15 12:34:39 PM

tallguywithglasseson: Many doctors interviewed at various HCA facilities said they had felt increased pressure to focus on profits under the private equity ownership. "Their profits are going through the roof, but, unfortunately, it's occurring at the expense of patients," said Dr. Abraham Awwad, a kidney specialist in St. Petersburg, Fla


Crap like that is why my wife (Family Practice doc) switched from a clinic to working at a university health center. They wanted her to see 35+ patients a day to break even at the for profit clinic. If she didn't make quota (they never actually used that word, but it was implied), she was encouraged to make it up on other days. And if you went on vacation, well, expect to be awfully busy when you get back.
 
2012-08-15 12:35:45 PM

DarnoKonrad: Walmart is already opening up clinics; retail chains are probably the future of medicine, just like it's been the future of everything else.


I got my engineering degree at Costco, but I was a triple legacy, that helped me get in.

I know you are jealous.
 
2012-08-15 12:38:34 PM

AdmirableSnackbar: what_now: Patients whose ailments were not deemed urgent were told to go somewhere else, like a free clinic, or that they could be treated if they paid the co-payment for their insurance or around $150 in cash.

Jesus Christ.

Do these people still take the Hippocratic Oath, or has it been replaced by the Greed is Good speech in "Wall Street"?

The doctors do, but the hospital administration doesn't take the Oath. So as long as they keep potential patients away from doctors until the hospital has been paid, nobody's breaking any rules. And that way, everybody wins!


The number of medical staff has cut massively o increase budgets. Administration get big bonuses for cutting staffing costs. They do this by dropping all the nurses that have experience and used the train the new nurses and replacing them with straight out of school nurses and hiring from abroad for a fraction of the cost and overloading them. When a patient dies you then sue the nurse for not doing her job properly. They also cut on many of the benefits and pay.

Same as been happening for many doctors in hospitals.

Really unless your a senior administrator at a hospital, you get screwed over nowadays.
 
2012-08-15 12:38:54 PM

Cinaed: You mean... privatized health care would be focused on profits at the expense of patient care? Shocking.


Are you implying that there is anything more important in life than corporate profits?
 
2012-08-15 12:40:20 PM
Is there a link to how HCA does (with regards to patient outcomes) compared to other hospitals?
 
2012-08-15 12:40:53 PM

Free_Chilly_Willy: HCA decided not to treat patients who came in with nonurgent conditions, like a cold or the flu or even a sprained wrist, unless those patients paid in advance

sounds horrible


Yeah, humans have never had problems with contagious diseases going untreated.
 
2012-08-15 12:41:05 PM

what_now: Patients whose ailments were not deemed urgent were told to go somewhere else, like a free clinic, or that they could be treated if they paid the co-payment for their insurance or around $150 in cash.

Jesus Christ.

Do these people still take the Hippocratic Oath, or has it been replaced by the Greed is Good speech in "Wall Street"?


Keep in mind, the only part of Medicare that Ryan's plan would keep is Medicare Fee-For-Service, which is pretty much designed to allow this kind of shiat to happen.
 
2012-08-15 12:41:42 PM
Nobody's noticed and mocked the "how would would" in the headline yet?

Fark's grammar Nazis are slipping.

*Adjusts monocle and gloves, holds riding crop between arm and flank, storms out of thread*
 
2012-08-15 12:41:47 PM

limeyfellow: Administration get big bonuses for cutting staffing costs.


So, once again, some asshole with an MBA f*cks everything up for everybody else. I love when they take the main thing that the business is doing - the guys that MAKE the product, the guys that PROVIDE the service - and declare them a "cost center," even though, without that "cost center," the business doesn't exist.
 
2012-08-15 12:42:09 PM
So a private hospital company (HCA) makes billions basically by classifying more patients as needing higher levels of care and billing Medicare accordingly. Medicare hasn't asked for reimbursements because "The acting head of Medicare is Marilyn B. Tavenner, a former HCA executive who left there in 2005 to become the secretary of Health and Human Resources in Virginia."

What.

The.

Fark.
 
2012-08-15 12:43:15 PM
Correct me if I am reading this wrong but wouldn't ACA (Obamacare) do wonders for this health system. Everybody would at the least have medicare that they could steal from.
 
2012-08-15 12:43:26 PM
Among the secrets to HCA's success: It figured out how to get more revenue from private insurance companies, patients and Medicare by billing much more aggressively for its services than ever before; it found ways to reduce emergency room overcrowding and expenses; and it experimented with new ways to reduce the cost of its medical staff, a move that sometimes led to conflicts with doctors and nurses over concerns about patient care.

Charging more money, cutting corners, and firing people are not revolutionary new breakthroughs in business. That's how assholes like Romney make their money, and in the healthcare context, it's going to get people killed.
 
2012-08-15 12:44:11 PM

quatchi: Among the secrets to HCA's success: It figured out how to get more revenue from private insurance companies, patients and Medicare by billing much more aggressively for its services than ever before; it found ways to reduce emergency room overcrowding and expenses; and it experimented with new ways to reduce the cost of its medical staff, a move that sometimes led to conflicts with doctors and nurses over concerns about patient care.

For-profit health care that maximizes profits by gouging and cutting care is not only unwise and immoral it should also be illegal.

Seriously, why do so many Americans seem to have no problem with third world access to one of life's essentials?


1. They got theirs so screw you.
Or
2. They've never gotten sick.
Or
3. They get sick often and get care from ERs and never pay their bills.
 
2012-08-15 12:44:34 PM

VRaptor117: What.

The.

Fark.


We call this sort of arrangement, "government."
 
2012-08-15 12:44:57 PM

quatchi: Among the secrets to HCA's success: It figured out how to get more revenue from private insurance companies, patients and Medicare by billing much more aggressively for its services than ever before; it found ways to reduce emergency room overcrowding and expenses; and it experimented with new ways to reduce the cost of its medical staff, a move that sometimes led to conflicts with doctors and nurses over concerns about patient care.

For-profit health care that maximizes profits by gouging and cutting care is not only unwise and immoral it should also be illegal.

Seriously, why do so many Americans seem to have no problem with third world access to one of life's essentials?


Because most Americans are isolated, and never travel abroad, so they don't know what a steaming pile of shiat healthcare system they have to the rest of the world.
 
2012-08-15 12:45:43 PM

quatchi: Seriously, why do so many Americans seem to have no problem with third world access to one of life's essentials?


Because of the socialists, the psychotics, the sob sisters, the skin merchants, the saboteurs, the self-sytled Sapphos, the self-styled Swinburnes, the swine, the satyrs, the schizos, the sodomists, the sissies, the screamers, the screwy, the scum, the self-congratulatory self-congratulators, the sensationalists, the snakes in the grass, the sex fiends, the shiftless, the shines, the shaggy, the sickly, the syphilitic...
 
2012-08-15 12:45:46 PM

Amnestic: Edsel: Antimatter: what_now: Patients whose ailments were not deemed urgent were told to go somewhere else, like a free clinic, or that they could be treated if they paid the co-payment for their insurance or around $150 in cash.

Jesus Christ.

Do these people still take the Hippocratic Oath, or has it been replaced by the Greed is Good speech in "Wall Street"?

Actually, we got that talk from the private insurance as well. They said, basically, if your arm isn't falling off, try heading to an emergency care facility rather then the ER, as it's far cheaper for you, and them. Ditto for going to small clinics for illnesses instead of large hospitals.

It's not a crazy idea at all. If you don't have an emergency, you shouldn't be in the emergency room. It wastes money and it overloads the system so hospitals are then stretched thin to deal with the REAL emergencies.

Thankfully, every citizen is given a complete, comprehensive medical course so that they can swiftly and accurately diagnose themselves and their friends/family meaning that no matter what is wrong with them, they will always know exactly what to do.

Or we would have that, if not for OBAMACARE!!!1!!11


Non-whargarrbl response: Obamacare pumps up primary care access, which can help deal with this problem by making the PCP to go-to for most care needs, not the ER. Many of the people who wind up in ERs for the sniffles do so because they don't have PCP access.
 
2012-08-15 12:45:55 PM

imontheinternet: ........


Charging more money, cutting corners, and firing people are not revolutionary new breakthroughs in business. That's how assholes like Romney make their money, and in the healthcare context, it's going to get people killed.


Yes but the people they will kill are mostly poor or minorities so there is that going for them.
 
2012-08-15 12:46:25 PM

Edsel: Antimatter: what_now: Patients whose ailments were not deemed urgent were told to go somewhere else, like a free clinic, or that they could be treated if they paid the co-payment for their insurance or around $150 in cash.

Jesus Christ.

Do these people still take the Hippocratic Oath, or has it been replaced by the Greed is Good speech in "Wall Street"?

Actually, we got that talk from the private insurance as well. They said, basically, if your arm isn't falling off, try heading to an emergency care facility rather then the ER, as it's far cheaper for you, and them. Ditto for going to small clinics for illnesses instead of large hospitals.

It's not a crazy idea at all. If you don't have an emergency, you shouldn't be in the emergency room. It wastes money and it overloads the system so hospitals are then stretched thin to deal with the REAL emergencies.


Thing is, people usually don't know what is an emergency. They are having chest pains, maybe it's severe indigestion or maybe a heart attack. They see a weird growth on their hip they didn't notice before, or slice their finger cutting vegetables, or twist their ankle and it's swelling up...

To them, they are in trouble, in pain, and more scared then they have ever been. It's an emergency to them, even if the emergency worker has seen the same thing a million times before. Granted, there's no shortage of sniffles, hangovers, and other nonsense filling up the ED that should have more common sense. But a lot, if not most, are genuinely concerned, even if it is based on ignorance or idiocy.
 
2012-08-15 12:47:35 PM

limeyfellow: AdmirableSnackbar: what_now: Patients whose ailments were not deemed urgent were told to go somewhere else, like a free clinic, or that they could be treated if they paid the co-payment for their insurance or around $150 in cash.

Jesus Christ.

Do these people still take the Hippocratic Oath, or has it been replaced by the Greed is Good speech in "Wall Street"?

The doctors do, but the hospital administration doesn't take the Oath. So as long as they keep potential patients away from doctors until the hospital has been paid, nobody's breaking any rules. And that way, everybody wins!

The number of medical staff has cut massively o increase budgets. Administration get big bonuses for cutting staffing costs. They do this by dropping all the nurses that have experience and used the train the new nurses and replacing them with straight out of school nurses and hiring from abroad for a fraction of the cost and overloading them. When a patient dies you then sue the nurse for not doing her job properly. They also cut on many of the benefits and pay.

Same as been happening for many doctors in hospitals.

Really unless your a senior administrator at a hospital, you get screwed over nowadays.


It's the same for every profession. And people who tell us that this is a good thing - especially anyone who would say it about a hospital - scare the crap out of me.
 
2012-08-15 12:47:40 PM

Parthenogenetic: Nobody's noticed and mocked the "how would would" in the headline yet?

Fark's grammar Nazis are slipping.

*Adjusts monocle and gloves, holds riding crop between arm and flank, storms out of thread*


Edward Woodward would.
 
2012-08-15 12:47:40 PM
Vulture Capitalism at its finest, profiting on the misery of others.
 
2012-08-15 12:48:18 PM

quatchi: Among the secrets to HCA's success: It figured out how to get more revenue from private insurance companies, patients and Medicare by billing much more aggressively for its services than ever before; it found ways to reduce emergency room overcrowding and expenses; and it experimented with new ways to reduce the cost of its medical staff, a move that sometimes led to conflicts with doctors and nurses over concerns about patient care.

For-profit health care that maximizes profits by gouging and cutting care is not only unwise and immoral it should also be illegal.

Seriously, why do so many Americans seem to have no problem with third world access to one of life's essentials?


I had to stop reading at this paragraph. I just ate lunch and I don't want to get indigestion. Basically "We gave crappy care and bilked our customers and we made $$$$$." And now their model is being used as the example. I hope that neither I nor anyone I care about winds up trying to get care at one of these places.
 
2012-08-15 12:48:46 PM

Slives: FTA: In late 2008, for instance, HCA changed the billing codes it assigned to sick and injured patients who came into the emergency rooms. Almost overnight, the numbers of patients who HCA said needed more care, which would be paid for at significantly higher levels by Medicare, surged.

So they increased their own profits by taking advantage of the government run medical payment processes?

The article goes on to note that at least one private insurance company questioned the new billing process and got at least a partial refund.

Makes you wonder what is going to happen to HCA's profits when Medicare gets its funding slashed, like the GOP wants to do....


Came here to say something like this... They didn't have an increase in the number of patients who needed more care, they just fudged the numbers to make it look that way, at least that's what I got from the article.

Either way, I'm staying the fark away from these guys' hospitals, I get great service at the hospital at the U of U, where my wife works, and I don't need to go to some place where they shred the service aspect up to maximize profits. As for reducing ER clutter, my insurance has it figured out. You go to the ER and get admitted, then there is no copay, and you pay almost nothing for your time there), you don't get admitted and it's a $75 copay. Nice and simple. It meant that when I had my Panceatitis, and spent the weekend in the hospital on both a morphine drip and a saline drip, followed by a MRI the next week, my entire bill was $250 out of pocket. Of course, I think I've also weathered about 8 attacks since then, not positive if it's the right symptoms, or just a stomach cramp, I don't want to go in and waste a copay for nothing.
 
2012-08-15 12:49:01 PM
But but but, I am assured by the economic geniuses of fark that Bain's business model is to load up their companies with debt, extract every penny they can, them default on the debt leaving the companies wrecked! Surely this must be an entirely different Bain that owns this thriving company. Either that or someone foiled their diabolical plan to drive them into bankruptcy.
 
2012-08-15 12:49:03 PM
Hmmm. Tricks in billing (after being convicted of fraud once), less care, less staff. Small fines compared to the "savings" of leaving patients to get bedsores, they are so ignored. Shareholders first, patients second.

Well, of course they are more profitable. The question (IMO) remains whether profit is what we want as a country as the number one goal of health care.
 
2012-08-15 12:49:23 PM
See also every HMO plan ever created
 
2012-08-15 12:49:28 PM

Wendy's Chili: quatchi: Seriously, why do so many Americans seem to have no problem with third world access to one of life's essentials?

Because of the socialists, the psychotics, the sob sisters, the skin merchants, the saboteurs, the self-sytled Sapphos, the self-styled Swinburnes, the swine, the satyrs, the schizos, the sodomists, the sissies, the screamers, the screwy, the scum, the self-congratulatory self-congratulators, the sensationalists, the snakes in the grass, the sex fiends, the shiftless, the shines, the shaggy, the sickly, the syphilitic...


...think he's a real righteous dude.
 
2012-08-15 12:49:40 PM

qorkfiend: Yeah, humans have never had problems with contagious diseases going untreated.


These people don't need a hospital and clogging up rooms and doctor time to treat these conditions ("freely" because they don't have insurance). They need a family practitioner and some basic antibiotics and/or bed rest and time.
 
2012-08-15 12:50:24 PM

Debeo Summa Credo: But but but, I am assured by the economic geniuses of fark that Bain's business model is to load up their companies with debt, extract every penny they can, them default on the debt leaving the companies wrecked! Surely this must be an entirely different Bain that owns this thriving company. Either that or someone foiled their diabolical plan to drive them into bankruptcy.


Why do that when you can just commit medicare fraud?
 
2012-08-15 12:50:34 PM

Slives: FTA: In late 2008, for instance, HCA changed the billing codes it assigned to sick and injured patients who came into the emergency rooms. Almost overnight, the numbers of patients who HCA said needed more care, which would be paid for at significantly higher levels by Medicare, surged.

So they increased their own profits by taking advantage of the government run medical payment processes?


If you get a bit deeper into the article, that change in billing codes is mentioned again. Know why HCA didn't change its billing codes until 2008? They still had an independent whistleblower watchdogging them as part of the Rick Scott Medicare fraud settlement. That's why they couldn't jump from "slightly more than a quarter" of patients in the top 2 categories to 76% in the top 2 categories, when the national average was 58%.

And nobody has blown the whistle on them why? Oh, because Medicare is run by Marilyn Tavenner, a 25 year employee at HCA, who left to be Tim Kaine's secretary of health and human resources in Virginia before Obama tapped her as (acting) Administrator of Medicare & Medicaid.
 
2012-08-15 12:51:26 PM
wait, does someone not understand how privatized healthcare works?
HCA is who Obama made his deal with to kill the public option, btw.
 
2012-08-15 12:51:35 PM

Cinaed: You mean... privatized health care would be focused on profits at the expense of patient care? Shocking.


It doesn't _have_ to be that way, no. But yeah, when you're taking your private corporation public or otherwise legally beholden to shareholders it's going to get nasty right quick. This is why many hospitals, while still privately-owned entities, are also nonprofit entities. That works much better.

//This isn't to say I'm not in favor of public health care, I am. Nationalize that shiat. But it is definitely possible for a private entity to focus on quality and service over the bottom line, people do it all the time. It's just not how companies like Bain Capital work, they're one of the big assholes of capitalism, sort of Capitalism's bizarro world answer to the Stalinist movement in Communism.
 
2012-08-15 12:52:13 PM

Free_Chilly_Willy: qorkfiend: Yeah, humans have never had problems with contagious diseases going untreated.

These people don't need a hospital and clogging up rooms and doctor time to treat these conditions ("freely" because they don't have insurance). They need a family practitioner and some basic antibiotics and/or bed rest and time.


That would be great, but they don't have insurance, don't have a family practitioner, and can't afford basic antibiotics.
 
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