Doctors form a union to fight the corporate medical machine
Healthcare costs and efficiencies are all the buzz in hospitals, insurance companies and in the government. Are the tweaks in efficiency really safe and efficient or will they result in greater costs down the road as corporate medicine attempts to wring out profits from doctors who are seeing more patients while spending less quality of time with them.
Years ago, your doctor was willing and able to spend time with you. Today, due to insurance company changes, and low reimbursements, primary doctors are lucky to spend 10 minutes with you or less, hardly enough time to adequately talk to you or diagnose you, so they refer you to the medical specialists who are paid more and send you from doctor to doctor, a costly chain of command that often does not solve your problem.
In a hospital in Oregon, Hospitalists, the in house doctors from PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center are taking a stand as the hospital looks to cut costs and increase productivity, possibly at the expense of the health of the people these doctors see.
While Hospitalists in corporate groups often make more than those who work directly for the hospital themselves, the doctors concerns are that their personal approach and their inability to adequately devote time will create problems with many patients.
Their solution was to unionize to fight the large corporate medical groups from taking their jobs and turning them into commodities. Check out their story in the NY Times.
Doctors Unionize to Resist the Medical Machine
An Oregon medical center”™s plan to increase efficiency by outsourcing
doctors drove a group of its hospitalists to fight back by banding together.
By NOAM SCHEIBERJAN. 9, 2016
Early in the morning on Aug. 12, 2015, a 68-year-old man named Barry turned up at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center in Springfield, Ore., confused and feverish.
The case was not a candidate for even a minor subplot on “œHouse.” The admitting doctor stopped one of the patient”™s medications and inserted an IV to deliver fluids, and by late the next morning, he had largely recovered.
Still, Dr. Rajeev Alexander, the hospitalist who took over his care, was determined to make an accurate diagnosis.
For nearly half an hour, Dr. Alexander, a perpetually rumpled man, chatted with Barry and Linda, his sister, about the events that had landed him in the hospital, the food processing plant where he once worked, the stroke that had impaired his mind. “œIt was a very scary night last night,” Linda, his caretaker, said. “œHe was just sitting on the floor, like you would sit a 6-month-old when they haven”™t got their balance.”
Dr. Alexander considers it proper technique to review each mundane detail with a patient. He is full of scorn for the eureka style of medical diagnosis depicted on television, and by his own admission, he reads a CT scan with the sophistication of a barber.
Read more here