As the numbers of specialty hospitals multiply nationwide, full-service facilities are feeling vulnerable, and a backlash is under way. While specialty proponents say they are merely meeting a demand for needed services, critics contend these hospitals are carving out profitable service lines and are threatening to tear apart facilities burdened by providing costly ER care. Is this a tense situation in need of legislative remedy, or merely the free market at work?
Dec 28, '02
From the article: "They fear that the proliferation of for-profit specialty services could spell the end for general acute-care facilities."
Given the inadequate level of healthcare these facilities have been providing (would YOU want to be a patient?); the unnecessary problems they create among their nurses, docs, and other staff by treating these people as commodities; the harm done to patients because of medication errors; etc. etc. etc., as Zoe wrote, "Its going to happen."
Just as FedEx and UPS took over much of the high-profit business from the dysfunctional USPS (and they and others will take more of it as time passes) the only real solution to this problem is for present healthcare facilities to get their acts together, as nurses have been demanding for many, many years, rather than trying to restrict the trade by making themselves local healthcare monopolies (and thus, limiting options for patients and providers). Otherwise, they will, rightly, be put out of business.
It can't happen too soon, IMHO.
Last edit by sjoe on Dec 28, '02