Jim’s Take

I’m encouraged by the efforts on the part of Massachusetts legislators to address the problems of community hospitals.  Many of our local hospitals put out an excellent product at a VERY reasonable cost.  We should protect them.  Sorry, Partners, but MGH isn’t the answer to EVERY medical problem, your protestations to the contrary.

In fact, right across the river in Cambridge there is a community hospital (Mt Auburn) that a few years ago Jim Roosevelt, then (and maybe still) the president of Tufts Health Plan told me outscored BOTH Tufts medical and MGH on the Federally Reported six-star rating of hospitals.  Tufts Medical had 4 stars (of six possible – in order to get a star I believe the hospital had to rate in the 75th percentile nationally in each of the six categories), MGH had 5 stars and Mount Auburn had six.

And at that time, as another Roosevelt-provided statistic indicated, it was a bargain-and-a-half: A vaginal delivery birth without complications at Mount Auburn cost $6,000 and change, and the same delivery at Children’s Hospital across the river cost $20,000.

So anyhow, community hospitals put out a good product with often outstanding safety and quality.

But – as usual – ego-driven politicians can’t solve ANY problem without spending OUR MONEY.  Particularly the private sector’s money.  The proposals in the House and Senate (the two confuse me and I don’t really care that much because they don’t listen to us anyway) give relief to the community hospitals, but …

  • One doesn’t require any increase in quality from those community hospitals in return for higher prices, and
  • The other allows BOTH community and Metropolitan/Teaching Hospitals raise rates at the same time.

So what does it mean?  Higher costs for you, Ms. Businessperson.  And your employees. And less return on investment for your stockholders.

But the Pols will be able to run around this summer and fall telling us how they singlehandedly saved community hospitals.

But there IS a way for you to save money AND get better outcomes at the same time.  If you think you’d like to stop shortchanging your employees, stop offloading more cost onto their shoulders, and start delivering them better care at more reasonable prices, just send me an email and ask me:  “Jim – help my hospital.”  That email isjedholm@bbibenefits.com

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