Predatory Hospitals Forcing Other Hospitals Out of Business

Comment: We received the following account from a reader. It should give pause to those predisposed to giving hospitals whatever they want, including more bucket loads of taxpayer money. Hospitals are not entirely benign – nor are they above human avarice and greed – as this report and the following account show:

“I talked with D., a nurse anesthetist recently whose husband owns a Diagnostic Radiology office [somewhere in the U.S.]. She was telling me how the big hospitals who go with O’care get ‘tons of grants’ and are buying up small doctor’s offices all over town. Once they are bought, those offices refer patients to the parent (owner) hospital when they need hospital treatment, and are starving out other hospitals.”

“That same thing is happening here! [One hospital] has bought up many family practice offices, physical therapies, and other private practices. My son that works [there] was telling me they ran out of beds for four nights in a row last week. His friend who works at [the hospital across the street] says they are furloughing staff, sending folks home, cutting the 12-hour shifts to 8, all because they don’t have the patients coming in. When my son’s hospital ran out of telemetry monitors for patients during that booked up time (I think they have over 100 monitors), my son’s former coworker now [across the street] said they only had 7 patients on [their] monitors!”

“What is worse, the physicians are too afraid to voice their concerns. If a doc sells his practice to be a part of the Big Hospital Group, he becomes aware of the fact that he could lose his job if he complains about what is happening. They are being intimidated to make sure patients go only to the hospital that owns his business, even if he knows another hospital has a better staff for heart patients, etc.”

“Doctors are seeing the implications of these huge buy-outs of doctors’ offices. Hospitals and private competitive healthcare businesses like her husband’s will be forced out of the market. Hospitals will be shut down, due to lack of business. My friend says doctors they know feel that it may be all too close to the point of NO turning back, ANY TIME NOW, if not already too late, once these other ‘choices’ are taken away from the consumer, we will have no choices left.”

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