HCA Profits Soar as Patient Care Suffers

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    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/15/bu...y.html?_r=1&hp

    Just read this article about the HCA corporation. I've never worked at an HCA hospital but have heard plenty of negative comments about them on AN. I'm also from the area in South FL discussed where HCA hospitals about, and shudder at the thought of my parents being a patient at one someday. I simply can't understand why anyone can think that making healthcare for-profit is a good idea.
    herring_RN, wooh, elkpark, and 1 other like this.
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  5. 3
    Quote from LilyRoseRN
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/15/bu...y.html?_r=1&hp

    Just read this article about the HCA corporation. I've never worked at an HCA hospital but have heard plenty of negative comments about them on AN. I'm also from the area in South FL discussed where HCA hospitals about, and shudder at the thought of my parents being a patient at one someday. I simply can't understand why anyone can think that making healthcare for-profit is a good idea.
    Don't believe everything you read in the paper. I did my mental health clinical in an HCA facility that is of the highest quality available and half my class did critical care and leadership in another HCA hospital. Both hospitals are fantastic places for patients and nurses. Just because a company makes money doesn't make them horrible, and because they make money doesn't mean another place has to suffer. I did not notice anything lacking and never heard staff whining and complaining that the evil shareholders and 401k retirement plan holders that are invested in healthcare are stealing supply money for themselves. The newspaper is going to slam anyone making a profit as evil. I don't work for them only because they are almost 2 hours from me, I hated driving there for clinical but the experience was fantastic!
    not.done.yet, lindarn, and Bortaz, RN like this.
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    That's great that you had a good experience at HCA. However, I don't see that as a reason not to believe what is in this well-written, thoroughly researched article, which is supplemented by countless comments I've read on this board about the HCA corporation as being grossly understaffed, unsafe workplaces. It is absurd to say that a newspaper would slam anyone for simply making a profit for no reason. I stand by my opinion that for-profit healthcare is not a good thing.
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    You probably don't want to look at those not for profits either. We lack lots of stuff and are always understaffed but I'm greatful for my job and happy to be working. It's probably ok to have those issues though because they are not for profit. Those administrators don't take any higher wage than any other CEO cno. Im going to bow out of this because it goes no where. But without profits, retirement funds and millions of other financial necessaries go unfunded because money has to come from somewhere.
    heydelilah and lindarn like this.
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    During the Great Recession, when many hospitals across the country were nearly brought to their knees by growing numbers of uninsured patients, one hospital system not only survived — it thrived.




    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/15/business/hca-giant-hospital-chain-creates-a-windfall-for-private-equity.html?pagewanted=all
    Sisyphus and lindarn like this.
  9. 1
    I work for an HCA facility and we are always well-staffed. I work on a med-surg remote telemetry floor and we are never given more than 5 patients per nurse. Most days our ratio is 4 to 1
    not.done.yet likes this.
  10. 0
    Threads merged.
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    The article focuses on the billing system employed by HCA facilities. Only two examples are given about quality of care--the story of the man who went in for weight-loss surgery (puzzling that the author of the article called it a "relatively simple surgery" Huh?) and the triage methods used in the ER.

    The article spends a lot of time talking about mergers, acquisitions, and profits (about three pages of the five-page article), seemingly in an attempt to persuade readers that HCA is a green-eyed monster. But there is little evidence provided, except for the two examples I cited above.

    Look, I'm not a fan of some of the methods used by administrators to increase patient satisfaction and cut costs. Nurses usually bear the brunt of increased workload and ridiculous, insincere scripting. However, I also see how appropriate billing is important to keeping a hospital solvent. As long as HCA is billing appropriately and triaging appropriately, I don't see the problem. As for the one example of a patient with pneumonia who was triaged inappropriately, I'm sure that could happen in any healthcare facility in the US unfortunately. Triage is an art and a science, and some things get missed.

    In other words, this article does nothing to prove that HCA is a scary money-generating machine that treats patients inappropriately or unsafely.
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    I disagree that the only quality of care issues mentioned were the man with bariatric surgery, and the ER triaging system. They also stated that many HCA hospitals are among the worst in terms of pressure ulcer prevention, which is supported by the many claims I've read over the years about bare-bones staffing. I'm glad a couple of other posters have had good experiences at HCA. I feel that the issues presented in the article suggest that HCA is not trying to keep their hospitals "solvent," they are making obscene profits at the expense of patient care. But that was just my take on it.
    Sisyphus and lindarn like this.
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    I work for HCA and feel very proud of the work we do there and the culture we do it under. I am ICU stepdown and our ratio is 3-4:1. I never lack for supplies, most days we have three techs in addition to any sitters we need, we have a charge nurse who does not have to take patients, a telemetry tech and a unit secretary.

    ETA: We are also actively hiring. We have lost some benefits over the last couple of years, which stinks, but merit raises were given this year, which is more than many have gotten lately. We also have active plans to build and renovate. My job feels very secure and I have been exceptionally supported as a new grad. We are a Magnet facility, utilize EBP as a matter of course, pay great attention to core measures and have regular opportunities for continuing education as well as excellent tuition reimbursement. A good culture has been fostered between the doctors and the nurses as well. My work environment is pretty great.

    If this is the devil, I guess I am okay being evil, asI feel pretty successful where I am at, feel good about the work I do and I don't dread going into work most days. I feel good about being an HCA nurse so....something doesn't jive with this to me. I am not a Mitt Romney fan in the slightest but the article pointing out that he is a co-founder of the company that bought HCA pretty much turns this into a less than credible article. It shows an agenda and an attempt to elicit a certain response from a certain population reading it.

    I am not saying every HCA hospital is great or even good, but I also don't think every HCA hospital is under the devil's umbrella. Like most places and corporations, there is the good, the great, the bad and the ugly.
    Last edit by not.done.yet on Aug 15, '12


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