Thursday, September 22, 2016

Fighting the Good Fight

I received an email from a friend, a physician.
I will paraphrase to protect privacy.

"I just came from a sympathy call to a friend whose 96-year-old mother died this week in Willimantic. Her mother was twice transferred by helicopter to Hartford Hospital because no intensive care was available at Windham Hospital. 

I was chatting with a physician friend who was also paying a sympathy call tonight and he told me that Hartford Health Care just closed down the practice of Dr. X, a surgeon who has been practicing in our area for decades. He said it came as a shock to everyone, especially Dr. X!"

Last year, Hartford Healthcare closed the CCU in Windham Hospital, sighting low volume. That low volume was caused by Hartford's practice of transferring cases to Hartford.

Hartford Healthcare also owns Dr. X's practice.

A recent article in Modern Healthcare points out that the promises of improved quality outcomes from hospital owned physician practices because "it can encourage “coordination efforts” and continuum of care services" has not materialized.

The closing of services at community hospitals and the closing of local physician practices by large healthcare corporations are symptoms of the ills of our healthcare system, just as the movement of public school money to private charter schools and the cuts in vital services to state residents as a result of state austerity budgets are symptoms of the ills in education and public services. 

In all cases, greed is the motivation.
Greed of the leadership of healthcare corporations, private charter school corporations, and the 1%.

It is easy to become discouraged and feel we have no recourse to reverse these trends.
Please don't let that happen.
Become involved in your union, your community group, your local politics.

We won't win every battle.
We may sometimes have to compromise.

But if we don't fight back we will surely lose.

There is an old saying, "If you're not at the table, you're on the menu." 

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