Editorial: Patients lose when care isn't top goal

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  • Updated: May 31, 2012 - 5:41 AM

Reliance on outside vendors requires heightened safeguards.

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goferfanzMay. 30, 1211:16 PM

Does it really take alot of scrutiny to connect the dots at this Fairview debacle? Face it--this plays like an SNL skit, and it would have been a pretty funny one except for the painful fact it was a real event. CEO gets too cozy with vendor with family connections. Different decade. Different nonprofit. MN healthcare providers are clearly a creation of the 1990's legislature and AG actions that herded independent physican groups into these big 3 nonprofits. Swanson, like Hatch, pay attention to obvious abuses and move to correct the egregious problems. Allina rebounded very well, and I suspect Fairview will, too. Give the kudos to the AG office as they must watch these issues closely. It will happen again in a billion dollar business.

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kindaliberalMay. 31, 12 8:11 AM

A friend's brother just died at 49 due to the fact he couldn't afford his heart medication. He went to a hospital ER because he didn't feel good but they refused to treat him because he owed money for past medical bills and in their opinion it wasn't an emergency. A day later he is rushed to ER and a stent is put in but he dies of a massive stroke. So, meds may have prevented his death and avoided a more expensive operation and hospital commitment. But, he couldn't pay for his care, cost more in the end, and died.

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copper88May. 31, 12 9:00 AM

You have to wonder how long this country will go down the road of For-Profit health care. How long will it take us to understand that we have the highest healthcare costs in the world and yet we get really marginal returns? It's time to put the money skimming insurance companies out of business and focus on getting decent health care to everyone.

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dl00025May. 31, 12 9:08 AM

i work at a municipal hospital in northwest iowa as an Information Technology employee. The movement they speak of to make the customer's experience the top priority is happening here. This facitlity is spending lots of money funding programs training employees things like "Language of Caring" The one thing I do like how they are holding people accountable is that the yearly employee bonus is based completely on customer feedback ratings. Its a group incentive plan so all areas of the hospital must score well in customer service quality in order to receive a bonus.

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hookshotMay. 31, 12 2:01 PM

Kindaliberal: My blood pressure pills cost $8 per month. He couldn't afford $8 per month? There's more to the story than what you are sharing.

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johndoe123May. 31, 12 5:38 PM

@hookshot - He didn't say blood pressure medication, he said heart medication. Had he meant blood pressure, I am sure he would have said that. Some heart medications are wickedly expensive, even in generic form.

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notsidJun. 4, 1212:37 PM

On the other hand, to be fair, hospitals have to collect revenue from the services that they provide. I suspect that the efforts by Fairview and others are primarily aimed at those without group or public program coverage...and largely for ER care as well where they do have to provide care no matter what in the case of an emergency and then may never hear from or see the patient ever again and holding a large unpaid bill. They cannot provide such services free of charge and still be able to keep their ER doors open to serve the public so that answer is...?

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