Hospitals have become sink holes for valueless expenditures (“Hospitals benefited the most from reform, says investment adviser,” ModernHealthcare.com, June 21). While this occurrence is not necessarily their fault since they are required to be in compliance with innumerable federal and state surveillance programs, much of hospital care portends little patient value.
Aggravated by the necessity to protect themselves from non-meritorious lawsuits, much of their professional staff is occupied with tasks unrelated to patient care, likely doubling their costs. If healthcare reform were truly serious about cost saving measures, the CMS could easily appoint a task force to examine: 1. Useless compliance protocols. 2. Defensive medicine costs. 3. Creating electronic health records with an easily navigable interface. 4. Reducing the documentation burden. 5. Negotiating lower pharmaceutical costs. Of interest: The number of patients who left the U.S. for care abroad (medical tourism) exceeded the number of patients who came here. While we may be very good at advanced cancer treatment, anybody can remove a gallbladder. Arthur E. Palamara
Physician University of Miami