Thursday, June 14, 2007

In Health Care, Cost Isn’t Proof of High Quality

Stark evidence that high medical payments do not necessarily buy high-quality patient care is presented in a hospital study set for release today.

In a Pennsylvania government survey of the state’s 60 hospitals that perform heart bypass surgery, the best-paid hospital received nearly $100,000, on average, for the operation while the least-paid got less than $20,000. At both, patients had comparable lengths of stay and death rates.

And among the 20 hospitals serving metropolitan Philadelphia, two of the highest paid actually had higher-than-expected death rates, the survey found.
One of the main problems with our health care system is that people do believe that higher costs result in better care. This report ends those thoughts. Our health care system is a mess with the United States spending more per capita than all other nations and getting less in the way of results. Many hospitals are on the brink of bankruptcy due to low insurance reimbursements. Who is making all the money in the health care industry? The insurance and pharmaceutical companies are making record profits while close to 50 million people go without insurance.

I would recommend that all citizens go to see the new Michael Moore movie "Sicko" which examines the health care industry. Even Fox News described it as brilliant. We can not truly fix the problem until we understand its causes.

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