Decrease in surgeries relative to the economy?

  1. I saw this posted on a blog today.

    "I am a physician in the Portland area. We are seeing more and more people unable to pay their bills. Today I wrote off two patients' cost for a surgery. Both mom and dad have lost their jobs, their insurance ends this month, and they are losing their house. You can't bleed a turnip.

    Colleagues have been cutting staff. My office wants a raise but our revenues are way down. We feel keeping wages stable and not cutting hours is generous in this environment. People can't pay their copays, many are opting out of surgery because of financial uncertainty, and hospital OR cases (the lifeblood of the hospital) are way down. I have been busy filling out forms to try to get free medicines from the pharmaceutical company for patients who can no longer afford them. It is getting ugly here."

    Are any of you CRNAs seeing a decrease in the number of cases you do these days?
  2. 3 Comments

  3. by   mariposabella
    Im not a CRNA at all, but I have read reports about surgeries are down due to people losing jobs therefore losing their health insurance, so they cant afford to pay to have surgery. Thanks to our crappy health care system. American greed.
    Well, at least the doctor is trying to help people out, more doctors should be like him.
  4. by   bibibi
    Very nice of this doctor to try to help people!!!
  5. by   Qwiigley
    I have found that people are losing their insurance, so plastics etc is down, but overall surgeries are steady (the same or even more). People who get a hot appy or cholelithitis have no choice but to have them removed. Labor and Delivery is getting busier. (I guess people are staying home more!!!)
    Here in So Cal as of today, unemployment is at 11% People are doing what they can to keep their insurance. I work for a very large HMO. We do not see pay issues. (We are not allowed to look at the part of the electronic file of patients that includes their $$$ status if it doesnt have anything to do with our job). We can be terminated for even looking.
    American's hea;th care is a very good system. We have the ability to choose the kind of care we desire. The problem lies with our legal system and the stupid law suits. It has made the doctors order thing for self defense instead of need. Wasting money.
    If socialized medicine comes, you will not be able to choose what you can choose now. You can not have your mother go into brain surgery to evacuate a hematoma from a fall because she is over 80 for example. Someone else, (probably the bloated government) will decide it isnt worth the cost.
    That is just plain wrong. Your mother in this example may be a very healthy women, with all of her senses, plays golf 3 days a week and just had a simple fall. Socialized medicine also will have a significant effect on salaries. They will limit doctors pay to $120,000 (I got that amount from England). If docs only make 120, you know nurses pay will get cut significantly. Just food for thought. Be careful what you wish for.

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