Hospitality at our Hospitals

Friday, October 30, 2009

I know. They’re there when we really need them, thank the good Lord. But something’s gotta change. Fact is, we don’t need health care reform. We need health cost reform and health administration reform.

First you get hit with big charges that are only hinted at prior to the “procedure.” Then all that mystifying paper work arrives—endlessly—and formatted like a maze (don’t they know we’re ill?) with everything in code (why can’t they just say what it’s about?). And all the repetition. This is a bill. This is not a bill. Here’s your summary (again). It’s the most painful part of being sick.

But here’s the most absurd thing: when your doctor works for one hospital and you want to visit the other, the doctor’s office will not make the arrangements for you. You have to do it yourself because they’re in competition. Are they crazy?

If health care is the reform we need, then this is a good place to start—by really taking care of us when we need it, regardless of the turf war. Let’s hope one day they (who are they anyway?) see the light and learn to collaborate for their mutual benefit and our medical welfare.

Yes, business is about profit. But when it’s about only profit, and profit at the full expense of at least some goodness, it’s a bad sign. •

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