This study demonstrates that patients in large hospitals are more likely to be kicked out too early when the hospitals are at their busiest.  This study shows that once these patients (whose luck has run out, being in these hospitals when things are busy) are inappropriately kicked out, how likely they are to be readmitted to the hospital.  The article basically says that surgeons bow to patient pressure and that hospitals bow to patient pressure to get their surgeries and procedures done at busy times.  Really?  Here’s another way to look at it.

Think about a restaurant that neglects to wash the plates because they are trying to turn the tables over too fast. Well, except people are being killed. Gone are the days when the surgeon that operated on you (unless he’s not a hospital employee) goes toe to toe with the hospital administration wanting to kick you out of the hospital to slake their greed.  You see, hospitals make more money if your stay there is shorter. They can also do more surgery (make more money) only as long as empty beds are available to accept patients after surgery.  Big hospitals often times now employee the surgeon and the hospital (ist), who basically acts like a bar bouncer for the sick.  The hospital (ist)’s role is to keep the wheel chairs flying down the ramp, bouncing off of the family member’s waiting car.  Picture these patients wearing hard hats as the ramp is near the massive new administrative complex under construction with a crane lowering the commissioned work of art in to the atrium.

So what,  if the patients get readmitted, as long as they get out of the way temporarily for the next revenue-generating surgery patient, that is, if they survive this early discharge from the hospital. Welcome to the dream of the health care cartel.  They get their money and you get…well…you get whatever they give you.  This is no failure of the free market.  This is the desired result of the federal government and the cartel they have conspired to create.  Next stop?  The ultimate tool:  keeping people from having surgical  procedures at all, in essence barring the entrance to the surgical suite entirely, or at least introducing outrageous Canadian-length delays.  Watch for the reappearance of HMO’s and ”capitation,” a favorite of big hospitals and larger insurers whereby money is paid “per head,” regardless what care you get.  Guess what care you are going to get?

Hopefully it will not be illegal here, as it is in Canada, to pay for high quality care out of your pocket, at facilities that choose to not participate in this fraud.  Kind of gives a whole new meaning to “out of network,” doesn’t it?  For now, make sure your doctor is working for you, not for anyone else.  “Whose bread I eat, his song I sing.”

G. Keith Smith, M.D.