It's All About the Money
If I had any doubt that patient-focused healthcare was a thing of the past, I don't anymore. Last weekend, a situation arose that showed me charging for services was more important than patient care.
I work full-time at one facility and help out at another. The second facility is an hour drive away by highway. It fell to me because I'm the only one willing to go there. I burn a tank of gas if I make two round trips. My company pays me drive time to the facility as an enticement to go there. Sometimes I've gone on Saturday if I thought Monday was going to be awful. I never intended for Saturdays to become a regular thing because it wore me out and my weekend was shot.
Last Friday, the second facility got three Medicare Part A admissions. The program director was put out with me when I told her I'd be there on Monday. She told me I needed to come on Saturday and not only see those patients but also provide complete treatments. For the rest of the day, I received text messages asking me if I'd changed my mind.
I finally received a call from the area manager. She, too, wanted me to give up my Saturday. Her main concern was getting those evaluations completed and in the system. She never asked me why I didn't want to go nor did she offer me any incentive. She simply told me somebody needed to go there this weekend.
Now, in my mind if it was about the patients, someone would have offered me an incentive to go. If patient care was the priority, a little extra money to get the job done wouldn't have been a problem. I've seen several other companies to that. If the goal was to treat the patients, it wouldn't have mattered if they had to pay me, or someone else, a little more for the inconvenience. But paying someone something extra makes a big difference if all you're looking at is the bottom line.
The continued pressure only strengthened my resolve not to go. I felt no reason to help someone who only saw dollar signs. None of the people who thought I should give up my Saturday were willing to give up theirs. For my company, the only difference between Saturday and Monday was an extra day of billed services. There was nothing patient-centered about the situation.