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Thu Sep 1, 2022, 12:34 PM

Healthcare Disaster in Atlanta

Before I had to quit working (health issues) I worked in hospital revenue cycle. I ran a division in rev cycle for a multi-hospital health system. It was a good job, good money, and exposed me to everything that is wrong with the US healthcare system. Despite what many think hospitals are not money-making ventures for the most part. Most years we were lucky to see 1-2% profit margin. Charity care was off the charts. But it was the vendors, pharmaceutical companies, etc, that were making all the money.

I still receive Becker's Hospital CFO Report in my daily email. Today I saw a story about Wellstar (a hospital system) closing a big hospital in Atlanta. That will leave only one hospital (Grady) to help the city as a Level One Trauma Center. I don't blame Wellstar though. Read the article, how they actually budgeted money to stay open despite sustained operating losses ($107m in the last 12 months). They spent over $350m in capital improvements and operating losses since 2016. They just couldn't make it. This is a healthcare disaster waiting to happen.

https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/finance/wellstar-to-close-2nd-hospital-in-6-months.html?origin=BHRE&utm_source=BHRE&utm_medium=email&utm_content=newsletter&oly_enc_id=8608A8413078J6M

Part of the problem is Georgia never expanded Medicaid. All those non-paying patients who flocked to the ER for basic care never generated revenue for the hospital. If Georgia had expanded Medicaid these people could have doctors and the hospitals could've had revenue to stay open. Hospitals don't run for "free". They cost money.

This just shows why universal healthcare is necessary. Sure they can say we'd have waiting lists like Canada for things like non-essential care. But you know what? In an emergency you will get care and you won't be bankrupted by it. Plus if our hospitals were paying drug companies and vendors what these other countries were paying for things they wouldn't be in such bad shape. Why does a Stryker artificial knee cost 4x in the US what it costs in India? Companies actually send their employees to India for surgery because it's cheaper for their insurance. How screwed up is that?

Enough ranting. I read that article about Wellstar today and just got pissed off.

22 replies, 3565 views

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Arrow 22 replies Author Time Post
Reply Healthcare Disaster in Atlanta (Original post)
NowISeetheLight Sep 2022 OP
mopinko Sep 2022 #1
Backseat Driver Sep 2022 #9
mopinko Sep 2022 #13
Timeflyer Sep 2022 #2
IrishAfricanAmerican Sep 2022 #3
mgardener Sep 2022 #4
Farmer-Rick Sep 2022 #18
childfreebychoice Sep 2022 #5
Hermit-The-Prog Sep 2022 #6
childfreebychoice Sep 2022 #7
childfreebychoice Sep 2022 #8
KatyaR Sep 2022 #10
Brainfodder Sep 2022 #11
crickets Sep 2022 #12
CatWoman Sep 2022 #17
crickets Sep 2022 #20
CatWoman Sep 2022 #22
Ozthegreatand.. Sep 2022 #14
calimary Sep 2022 #19
crickets Sep 2022 #21
live love laugh Sep 2022 #15
Farmer-Rick Sep 2022 #16

Response to NowISeetheLight (Original post)

Thu Sep 1, 2022, 01:26 PM

1. cook county hospital here in chi was in the black w/in a year of the aca passing.

they got clearance a year early as a community health provider to expand out patient clinics, and started an hmo that is free to the poor.
the aca is a big reason chi pulled out of 08 as well as it did. the cushion from 'when daley sold the parking meters' (which isnt what happened.) helped a lot. we were never gonna have to sell off the monets.
but the university and healthcare systems here are a big, big, big segment of the economy.
their tax free status and the free water is a burden. but the good paying jobs all the way to the union cooks should be the envy of every big city. the income taxes alone are huge and the sales taxes, too.
illinois' bond rating was at almost junk status under the ruiner. it's gone up about 3 notches under dems.
it's amazing how good taking care of people is for business.

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Response to mopinko (Reply #1)

Thu Sep 1, 2022, 02:16 PM

9. Now the problem seems to be staffing at Cook County Hospital.

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Response to Backseat Driver (Reply #9)

Thu Sep 1, 2022, 02:56 PM

13. yeah, there's that. there's an easy fix for that, tho.

i've already poked my state rep, and the next 1 north who sorta owes me for her seat.
so, if you have military training in anything that needs a civilian cert, you get nothing. you start at square 1 like everyone else. this is insane, and this is at the behest of the student loan bandits.
my nephew signed up to train to be a nurse. my the end of his hitch, he w a surgical nurse at reed. came back to cali, and hound this out the hard way. in most states, you can work as an emt w medic training. this is a state level issue.
easy fix.

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Response to NowISeetheLight (Original post)

Thu Sep 1, 2022, 01:45 PM

2. Thanks for an excellent "rant" on this important issue!

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Response to NowISeetheLight (Original post)

Thu Sep 1, 2022, 01:57 PM

4. Talk to anybody

We are waiting months to be seen.
The US isn't even in the top 10 for medical care in the world.

https://worldpopulationreview.com/country-rankings/best-healthcare-in-the-world

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Response to mgardener (Reply #4)

Thu Sep 1, 2022, 03:37 PM

18. Geez, our US health care system is really tragic

Except if you are filthy rich.

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Response to NowISeetheLight (Original post)


Response to NowISeetheLight (Original post)

Thu Sep 1, 2022, 02:01 PM

6. The following may need updating...

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Response to Hermit-The-Prog (Reply #6)

Thu Sep 1, 2022, 02:06 PM

7. I remember rural hospitals that were closing, having signs that said

"thanks Obama," rather than blaming rethugs for not expanding Medicaid. Add to that, catholic conglomerates buying up rural hospitals, may spell death for some women

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Response to NowISeetheLight (Original post)

Thu Sep 1, 2022, 02:10 PM

8. Not to mention ppl going overseas for dental work. Nt

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Response to NowISeetheLight (Original post)

Thu Sep 1, 2022, 02:19 PM

10. Oklahoma has only one Level 1 trauma center in the entire state.

People have to be transferred to OKC for treatment. It's ridiculous....

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Response to NowISeetheLight (Original post)

Thu Sep 1, 2022, 02:27 PM

11. The country is a healthcare disaster!

Especially for folks with no coverage or just catastrophic.

No preventative maintenance is just as big a deal!

I hate this fact, because it could result in the premature death of myself and others I care about.

No emoji a/v to properly convey my feelings.

Good luck to those who need it!

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Response to NowISeetheLight (Original post)

Thu Sep 1, 2022, 02:30 PM

12. "Georgia never expanded Medicaid"

I see red every time this comes up. Kemp keeps trying for a stingy partial expansion tied to work requirements.

It drives me crazy. It's selfish and punitive, it's racist, it's a politically motivated "own the libs" tactic that causes needless suffering. Why are states even allowed to turn this money down?

Apologies for the link blizzard, but in case anyone is curious it'll save some time:

https://www.ajc.com/news/coronavirus/standstill-on-medicaid-expansion-leaves-poor-georgians-without-coverage/56ZL3LQ3RBHC3C7TBO3K22RCWE/

https://www.wabe.org/georgia-still-hasnt-expanded-medicaid-politicians-offer-competing-narratives-why/

https://www.kff.org/medicaid/issue-brief/status-of-state-medicaid-expansion-decisions-interactive-map/


Thank you for your rant, NowISeetheLight. I'm right there in the pissed off line with you. 💙

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Response to crickets (Reply #12)

Thu Sep 1, 2022, 03:32 PM

17. the GOP actually passed a law to prevent it

Last edited Thu Sep 1, 2022, 04:53 PM - Edit history (1)

when it looked like Jimmy Carter's son would win the state house in 2014, as he promised to expand Medicaid if he won.

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Response to CatWoman (Reply #17)

Thu Sep 1, 2022, 04:03 PM

20. SMH. 🤦

eta:

April 29, 2014
https://www.ajc.com/news/deal-signature-all-but-kills-medicaid-expansion/MVRuYZLzu2FBpO1dLqk01L/


However, this is interesting:

Aug 15, 2022
https://www.axios.com/local/atlanta/2022/08/15/new-life-for-medicaid-expansion-in-georgia

In conversations with nearly a dozen lawmakers and lobbyists who spoke on condition of anonymity, Axios has learned that some Georgia Republicans have quietly changed their minds about Medicaid expansion, and that discussions about a path forward have been happening behind the scenes.


Regardless of Kemp and other hardliners, some Republicans are coming around. Just a bit. As much as they despise Democratic methods of dealing with the issue, some of them are realizing that they just are not getting the job done as things stand, and something has to give.

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Response to crickets (Reply #20)

Thu Sep 1, 2022, 04:52 PM

22. just like they are coming around on abortion

or rather, trying to appear to

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Response to NowISeetheLight (Original post)

Thu Sep 1, 2022, 03:05 PM

14. Not just the hospitals

I live in rural Ga. We are truly struggling with access to any Healthcare. I live in Spalding County but worked in Fayette (a much more affluent County). When I receive treatment in Fayette I'm seen quickly, they have all the supplies, and I've never had to wait even twenty minutes for my medications. Spalding in whole different experience. Every doctor is so backed up I usually have an hour wait to be seen. The pharmacies aren't stocked in Spalding as they are in more affluent counties. I ALWAYS have a two day wait on meds and once I had to go without blood pressure meds for 5 days! And this is Krogers! They once told me that Spalding is just not stocked well because there are so many uninsured people there.
I'm originally from Louisiana where medicaid was expanded. I noticed that there is a medical facility everywhere you look! Expanded medicaid creates jobs. How many more jobs would be available in Spalding along with better access to Healthcare?
And then maybe I could get my medications without all the frustration!

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Response to Ozthegreatand.. (Reply #14)

Thu Sep 1, 2022, 03:40 PM

19. Welcome to DU, Ozthegreatand... !

Thanks for your detailed account! I swear, what people have to go through to Just. Get. Care.

If we're supposed to be such a "Christian" nation, why aren't we better at helping those in need? From what I learned in Catholic school, Jesus wasn't the One Who hung out with rich people, OR the powerful.

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Response to Ozthegreatand.. (Reply #14)

Thu Sep 1, 2022, 04:20 PM

21. Another welcome to DU, Ozthegreatand.. !

I am in a rural area as well and understand your frustration. Fingers crossed that we elect Stacey Abrams and change is on the way. 💙

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Response to NowISeetheLight (Original post)

Thu Sep 1, 2022, 03:23 PM

15. Thanks for enlightening me.

In Chicago a major hospital closed recently (Mercy) clogging up ERs elsewhere.

Itís tragic.

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Response to NowISeetheLight (Original post)

Thu Sep 1, 2022, 03:32 PM

16. Wow, what a great analysis of hospitals

You made me realize that hospitals are not about making money but about creating a market for pharmaceutical corporations, doctors, medical suppliers and health insurance corporations to make money.

Hospitals are like our infrastructure. The US doesn't make money off roads and utilities. But it allows for others to make money by using those structures and services.

As a small local farmer, I always thought that getting access to markets was the most difficult part of selling my produce. If the hospitals stopped accepting health insurance corporations payments, health insurance would dwindle away.

It's like a local farmer not being able to sell their vegetables in the local grocery stores and local schools. Both grocery stores and schools have peculiar contracts with foreign countries and out of state growers and rarely buy from local small farmers.

Changed my whole idea about hospitals. Thanks for the analysis.

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