Friday, September 25, 2015

FACTS, not fiction

In today's issue of "Hospitell," the Backus/Windham Hospital newsletter, CEO David Whitehead writes an article titled "Facts or fiction."
David states there has been a lot of misinformation about the closing of services at Windham Hospital and that we should look at the facts.
I couldn't agree more.

He notes that Windham Hospital has lost money over the last 5 years.
While this is true, he fails to mention that 6 years ago, the year before Windham was taken over by Hartford Hospital, it posted a small profit, as it had done for years before that and that Hartford Healthcare, the parent company, continues to post a profit.

He refutes what State Senator Mae Flexer said, "We cannot stand by and allow Hartford Healthcare to turn our hospital into a glorified emergency room," by listing the services that will continue to be provided.
What he fails to mention is that the Critical Care Unit will be closed.

He refutes what State Senator Cathy Osten said, "This is as close to closure of a hospital as you can get and still keep the doors open," by saying a hospital that loses millions needs to transform.
While I agree that transformation is needed, the ability to care for Critical patients is essential to the functioning of a hospital.  It is hard to predict when a Critical patient will roll though the doors or a stable patient will turn Critical.

He states that OCHA determined that Certificate of Need public hearings are not needed and while this is true, it is based on an affidavit that the hospital filed saying that services would not change.

Much has been made in the last few days of excessive hospital CEO compensation and recent Medicaid cuts and while these are issues worth deep discussion, the bottom line is and always should be this:
Will patients care and the community be adversely effected by a change of services at the hospital?

That is what matters and that is what the Office of Healthcare Access must decide.
Based on FACTS, not fiction.

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