Sunday, August 12, 2012
Do hospitals do futile procedures for profit?
As it became a larger corporation, it changed. There were moves toward "standardization" and "increased efficiency". I've seen medicine change and become big business. At this point it feels more like a business than a place where people get cared for. I guess thats reality.
As with any business, emphasis is placed where the money is made. Cardiac medicine has become a huge money maker. Cath labs make millions putting in stents. Hospitals are doing more and more sophisticated procedures like putting in LVADS (left ventricular heart device), heart transplants. They are doing CRT (continuous renal replacement therapy). Another technology is called ECMO which, if I understand it, is continuous cardiac bypass to rest the heart. This stuff is becoming like science fiction.
There are nurses who say that these procedures are being done on people who will die anyway, in other words they had no chance to begin with. They think some of it is inappropriate. The thing is it makes a lot of money for the hospital and the cardiologists. I wonder if down the road there will be an investigation of all of this. Profiteering at the expense of realistic patient care.
Hospitals are scrambling to stay afloat. I wonder how many are doing procedures that are questionable in an effort to do that. There are already rumblings about stents being no more effective than drug therapy in prolonging life.
The emphasis in hospital is on the areas that make money. They look like hotels. The rest of the hospital is like the ghetto things shabby and falling apart. How far will all of this technology, and along with it money making, go? It will be interesting to see.
Posted by girlvet at 3:35 PM