Wednesday, April 05, 2006

St. Joes For Sale?

I guess that's one of the options according to this story in today's Eureka Reporter. The powers that be will have to decide whether to sell St. Joseph's Hospital, create a special tax assesment district to support the it, or figure some way for the current owners, Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange, to keep the hospital.

I was shocked, at first, with the suggestion of St, Joes being be sold. We'd never know for sure what we'd end up with after the deal was done. After a while, I started thinking that may not be such a bad idea.

I know many would prefer the formation of a special tax assesment district to keep the hospital running, thus putting control of the hospital more under the control of local government. Believe it or not, I'm not all that opposed to the idea. I want that hospital to stay open.

Problem is, I've been reading lately about problems with hospitals around the state. The publicly funded ones seem to be the ones with the most problems.

In Los Angeles, as I made note of here earlier on, some emergency rooms are actually being closed for hours on end. The emergency rooms from privately run hospitals are closed for less time, sometimes a lot less time, than their publicly funded counterparts.

I have no idea why the privately run hospitals are outperforming the public ones. Suffice it to say, though, if it works, it's probably not a good idea to try and fix it.

Which isn't to say that privately run hospitals "work". It just seems they tend to run a little better than the publicly funded ones, overall. What I've never heard a good explanation of, is why so many hospitals, public or private, seem to be in so much trouble nowadays.

2 Comments:

At 12:11 PM, Blogger Pogo said...

"...why so many hospitals, public or private, seem to be in so much trouble nowadays."

It's not rocket science. Politicians pass laws and regulations that prohibit denial of services to indigents and mandate quality care standrds as well as capping the fees that will be paid by social agencies for services to participants in welfare programs. The hospitals attempt to recover their losses by transfering the costs of unpaidfor services among those who are not indigent (like $15.00 aspirin tablets). This is only partially successful. Malpractice and liability insurance rates are through the roof due to high awards for damages in civil cases. The hospitals are then further squeezed by the unions representing their staff. The underlying problem is the current attitude by much of the population that they are not responsible for their own medical care.

 
At 5:21 AM, Blogger Fred said...

Well...I know that, Pogo. I would just think they'd at least be able to break even, though.

 

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