I was away for a few days without easy internet access, so my pet peeve had to fester. Here it is:

I was at lunch a few days ago at the hospital, where stories of our daily experiences are routinely traded. One of the internists related an experience that—you guessed it—made my blood boil. As an internist he rounds on patients in transitional care facilities, places for rehabilitating patients that need prolonged skilled nursing or physical therapy when they aren’t ready to return home after their need for acute care. Apparently, there are patients that are beyond rehabilitation and need primarily custodial care, which is much less expensive and not under the Medicare aegis. When my colleague offered to provide utilization review to triage such patients to the appropriate level of care, he was “laughed at.” There apparently is no mechanism for utilization review to limit costs. Another leak in the government-run side of the health care boat.

I have some clarification on my last peeve. I caught a segment on Fox Channel that discussed Canadians getting health care here in the U.S. It appears there are brokers that dicker for rates that are a fraction of what we as U.S. citizens are paying. It wasn’t clear to me where the cost-savings are coming from, but if the doctors and hospitals are willing and able to provide the services, my guess is that it’s at the expense of the insurance company profits we’re seeing here. This supports the need for greater competition.

Next: Will update as new information and incidents surface. Hope you check in when you get a chance.


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