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New surgical facility raises concerns

Posted: January 12, 2012 - 9:44am

Yes, I think free enterprise is usually a good thing. However, the new surgical facility will be a ‘for-profit’ facility. The hospital is a ‘non-profit’ facility. I have observed here that profits are reinvested into the hospital to add services, improve services, supply services. In a hospital some departments ... lab, out-patient surgery in our case ... make money. Some of that money supports services here that don’t make any money, or that lose money. Profits in this hospital don’t go into anybody’s pocket.

It is felt that the new facility surely would take away surgeries from the hospital. And how could the new facility always take the Medicare and Medicaid people? They’d likely go broke. But the hospital will continue to take them. They have told the hospital that they will only take surgeries that would not have come here anyway.

But how could that be so? We’re blessed here that we are in a growing area, and our hospital’s smorgasbord of services has expanded and grown with it. I’ve been where hospitals had to struggle. They can’t give anything away. They end up having to take. So, those are the concerns with this new facility going in.

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RaySouthwell 01/12/12 - 10:32 am

Do you still work in the lab at the hospital?

Are you fearful of losing your job?

I believe the surgeons are, if they do not build an independent surgical center.

The question should be asked- why after 40 years of cooperation between the surgeons and Hospital Corporate board do the doctors feel a need to build an independent surgical center?

Could it be they fear for their livelihood?

Carver 01/13/12 - 08:26 am
That's the point?

I dunno, Ray, but isn't that the point? Losing jobs? I was initially disposed to support the surgery center, now I'm not so sure.

Health care and health care reimbursement today have become something of a Gordian Knot tossed into a snake pit, and docs have been part and parcel of getting the American system where it is now. Used to be that hospitals existed for the docs, now the docs exist for the hospital? If there is anything left of free enterprise and competition in American health care, it's between the hospitals and the docs, nowhere else.

Things are far from ideal, but to allow a privately-owned surgery center to compete with our non-profit hospital by skimming off a very profitable segment of business doesn't sound like good sense to me.

As it stands now, CPH surgeries, profitable as they are, subsidize other, less-profitable areas of service. My big gripe is that CPH, instead of introducing exotic specialties, should have and should be using their profitability to give our area a full-service Hospice.

Certainly there's more that can be said. Personally, I'd like to hear from the surgeons wanting their own clinic. Tell us why their proposed clinic is good for us. Will the clinic take Medicare and Medicaid patients? Will the clinic have its own ER, or will CPH have to absorb that responsibility?

RaySouthwell 01/15/12 - 01:21 pm

I agree with you completely.

We believe there are only two choices. For the ambulatory surgical clinic or against it.

I would suggest a third choice. Re-negotiate terms of agreement between the surgeons and Hospital Corporate Board.

We need to understand how the hospital is operated. The private unelected board controls the operation of our hospital. Their mindset is destroying the borough owned hospital. The surgeons, many of whom have cared for the people of the community, have been threatened to lose their livelihood.
What would any of us do if threatened to lose our job we have worked many years for?

When we talk about free-markets, we need to ask the question-is our hospital private hospital or a public hospital
It is the same question we need to ask about our banking system.

Our hospital is publicly owned. We must do what is in the best interest of the people of the Borough. That best interest is changing the destructive behavior of the corporate hospital board and take back our community hospital for the benefit of all in the Borough.

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