Saturday, September 12, 2009
(After Michelle Obama's policy where the University of Chicago hospitals dumped patients from the ED to nonexistent "community medical clinics" while she served as Executive VP and called it a "Community Outreach Program") I really hate patient dumping and this week on call is no exception. It seems that our ED becomes the one that outreach is to. As the hospitals are going broke, the dumping seems to be increasing and the hospitals are now very good at finding ways around COBRA and EMTALA just like Michelle Obama did. The result is that the patients have to go somewhere. One of the misconceptions is that these dumps are patients are the ones without insurance. Actually, they usually have insurance. It is almost always Medicaid. The hospital administrators know that the more Medicaid they get, the less likely they will be financially solvent so they have to find somewhere else for it to go and to make sure that it doesnt get into the hospital. I think it is rather funny that the President who clains that insurance companies shouldn't cherry pick their patients is married to someone who did just that. Seems she understood that hospitals cant survive on government insurance. Anyway, the game is to get the patients just enough better that they dont have to be admitted to comply with EMTALA and then tell them if they have any more problems to go to the "hospital" or "clinic" down the street!