’60 Minutes’ Report Critical Of Health Management Associates

A national health-care chain that operates two hospitals in Lancaster County has come under fire after an investigative TV news program aired allegations that profits — and not patient care — motivated many of the company’s decisions in the emergency room.

CBS correspondent Steve Kroft on “60 Minutes” Sunday charged Health Management Associates with running unnecessary tests and admitting patients without cause — all to drive up revenue.

Based in Naples, Fla., HMA is the nation’s fourth-largest for-profit hospital chain.  Locally, HMA operates Lancaster Regional Medical Center at 250 College Ave. and Heart of Lancaster Regional Medical Center in Lititz.

Danielle Gilmore, director of marketing for Lancaster Regional, declined to discuss the CBS report, instead sharing a statement issued by HMA’s corporate office in Naples.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/788776_-60-Minutes–report-critical-of-Health-Management-Associates.html#ixzz2E1Aur9Zx

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Urgent-Care Clinic Opens In Carbondale Months After Hospital Closes

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

CARBONDALE, PA – When Marian Community Hospital closed in late February, Upvalley residents had no other options for immediate care between Honesdale and Scranton.

Helping fill health care needs in the area, Pioneer City Urgent Care, a seven-day-a-week clinic, has opened to treat anything from bronchitis to earaches and bone fractures.

“Having an urgent-care clinic in our city is vitally important to our residents and the surrounding area,” said Carbondale Mayor Justin Taylor, a former emergency medical technician. “This is really the first line of defense with anyone with a medical situation.”

Jaime A. Cook, R.N., practice manager for the clinic and a registered nurse, said people should consider the new facility instead of driving out of the area for medical assistance.

Read more: http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/urgent-care-clinic-opens-in-carbondale-months-after-hospital-closes-1.1350312

Wait Time Clocks In The ER? Does That Sound A Little Too Much Like Ordering A Pizza?

A patient having his blood pressure taken by a...

Image via Wikipedia

Some local hospital Emergency Rooms already have them.  Some others are considering adding them like Pottstown Memorial Medical Center and Phoenixville Hospital.

I don’t know about you but is this making medical care too much like ordering a pizza or being on hold with your credit card company?  Will patients get discounts and prizes for prompt treatment?  Will employees be rewarded for providing prompt treatment?

Some things take as long as they take.  Do we want medical treatment on the same level as an express lunch guarantee at Bennigan’s?  I am somewhat skeptical of this concept.  Will we be installing deli ticket machines so patients can take a number as well?  Maybe we can put up a digital display like at Redner’s so everyone can see what patient we are on.

Triage takes care of making sure the neediest patients get care first.  Turning the ER into a deli atmosphere does not seem like a step forward IMHO.