In the previous blog, I cited an Associated Press report on the medical/economic crisis in Venezuela. If you think Venezuela’s crisis cannot be duplicated here, think again.
Reporter Shelley DuBois wrote an article in The Tennessean about how ObamaCare may impact hospitals in the future. In her article, she pointed out that hospital administrators and employees are worried. Although hospitals will get paid for charity work that they provide free now for the uninsured, they fear hospitals will be flooded with high-use patients that could overburden their facilities like in Venezuela; furthermore she reported, “… hospitals also could receive less money for the same services in the short term: The government has outlined plans to cut reimbursement rates for patients on Medicare.”
Reduced reimbursements are prompting hospitals to examine how they can cut costs. For example, DuBois reported “In September, Vanderbilt notified state and federal government officials that the medical center will cut more than 1,000 jobs by the end of the year to prepare for economic uncertainties, some of which are due to health care reform.” This is significant because Vanderbilt is a research hospital and has the only Level I trauma unit in the region. It treats a higher proportion of serious injuries than other regional hospitals. Yet the burden being thrusted upon it by ObamaCare requires they seek ways to stay solvent.
Another problem with ObamaCare is the administrative mandates. In talking to friends who are nurses, they complain the paper work required under the Affordable Care Act is reducing their time with patients. Rather than providing the quality care needed by patients, they are completing reports, reports, reports, etc. This disturbs them because they were trained to be nurses and not secretaries. The quality care so essential for all patients, in their estimation, will suffer as the law is fully implemented in 2014.
The unintended consequences for hospitals under ObamaCare could be a deterioration of medical care and treatment similar to what is happening in Venezuela. High cost patients could swamped hospitals and overwhelm their staffs and facilities. There has to be a better way of providing health care insurance rather than the seriously flawed ObamaCare.