Nonprofit vs. For-Profit Hospitals
My nurses were in an uproar one day over patients who are
trying to schedule post-hospital follow-ups with me whom we'd never seen
before, with complex conditions such as post CABGs and even a renal transplant.
It turns out that Medicaid is randomly assigning patients to primary care
providers in the area, whether there is a former relationship or not.
Many, if not most, of these patients have probably never been
seen or followed by a PCP, and the first time they learned of their dire
physical conditions and having workup done is in an area emergency room. Taking
on follow-up for these patients is a daunting challenge and even a bit scary,
but thanks to my Duke education, my peerless preceptors, and the priceless Up-to-Date,
I feel confident that I will do right by my patients.
Speaking of emergency rooms, who came up with the idea of
operating hospitals for profit? The local hospital, which shall remain
nameless, chose to be sold to a for-profit corporation over the wonderful
nonprofit organization that I've worked for as a transcripitionist for the past
15 years. I am often so shocked and dismayed at the treatment my patients
receive at the former that I've thought of lodging complaints.
At this point, if a patient needs urgent care, s/he is strongly
encouraged to seek care at the nonprofit hospital 30 miles away, if they can
get a ride, vs. the for-profit hospital a mere 5 minutes away. Gratifyingly,
the nonprofit facility has, without exception, served my patients well, whether
insured or not. A community hospital, in every sense of the word.