A Collection of Problems with the US Health Care System

MD. California. Statement 10189.

Categories: Health Care Professional Statements
Tagged as:

State:: California

Occupation:: MD

The new Medicare reimbursement rules for hospitals began last week, Oct. 1,2012. Hospitals are anticipating that they will not be reimbursed for re-admissions for Medicare patients. They have taken some very disturbing steps so that they will not incur these admissions and suffer financial losses. Northern California hospitals have engaged with individual hospice companies, and hired employees who now will have salaries paid by both the hospital and the hospice, to get hospitalized Medicare patients to sign up for hospice before they leave the hospital, at the time of discharge. Patients who have been diagnosed with significant new cardiac conditions or new cancers, etc. are being approached by these new employees prior to discharge, and induced to sign up for “hospice” so that there is no chance the hospital will be burdened with the cost of any readmission, because the person will be committed to “death”. These are patients who have just been admitted to an acute hospital and have just undergone acute medical care, and have not had adequate opportunities to consider the ramifications of their new medical conditions with families and friends or their own doctors. There is obvious “conflict of interest” with the hospitals and hospices who are given notice of the patient’s conditions, through access of confidential medical records, and utilizing this information to induce debilitated and distraught individuals into decisions that may not be in their best interest. This is very unethical and disturbing.