I did a little expirement this weekend. I tried to check whether my eye drops really expired in 28 days to stretch out my kineret dose and pay less. Now, I'm writing this with my left eye shut since it's useless, seeing only cloudy spots and feels like I have a twig in there.
I guess my doc wasn't lying to pinch extra money from me.
But recently, health care professional's have been exposed pinching extra money. A recent article in The Valley News exposes Dartmouth Medical Center's spending practices and upcoming projects, such as a $35 million dollar office building that is being funded through "investments."
Last I knew, non-profits were not able to have investments that made millions of dollars, much more than many successful companies.
NH's State Budget has passed, but it's clear neither side, the government's nor the hospital's hands are entirely clean.
What they can both agree on is neither comfortably wealthy groups are willing to make sacrifices themselves to save the poor and sick in desperate need of the hospital's services. However, the hospital has stated outright that the budget cuts will effect patient care by minimizing staff, enacting "project lean" where previously standard treatment, such as an RN giving an asprin for a chest pain in the ER, no longer occurs. They need to save the cost of that asprin. A doctor must order it because that pain could be anxiety or pleurisy.
The problem with this "project lean" is that chest pain could be a heart attack and heart muscle damage may be worsened. I am sure these decisions were not made lightly; however, our representatives and our hospitals seem to be saying that's the price patients have to pay. Residents may pay with their health so the state can continue functioning financially. It's survival of the fittist, Darwinism in the millennium.
I gave some suggestions regarding legislation that could be passed to assist in this financial health crisis. It's only fair to make recommendations to the hospital.
1. Disclose those investments! There is something fishy here. How can a company get non-profit status tax breaks but have 35 million lying around?
2. Cut unnecessary, complementary staff, such as the artist in residence.
3. All those craft supplies, art, etc. in the hospital budget, cut those too. We need care, not pretty walls
4. Make some currently free programs a low cost out of pocket expense. Dana farber has the Zakim Center which provides nutrition counseling, accupuncture, massage, for a fee.
5. Create a 2nd large fundraising event 6 months opposite the prouty.
6. Offer lessons teaching employees how to advocate. Make it convenient for them to assist in making changes. Organize Rallies. Provide buses to go to Concord on voting Days.
7. Don't only appear to our representatives when you're asking for or fighting something. Have everybody lobby and advocate for things like cost control measures such as a cap on malpractice suit awards. Start and suggest legislation, then band togeher to fight for it, don't simply react. Flex those powerful numbers!