Streams

Emergency by Appointment

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

An investigation from Bloomberg News reveals that some cardiologists route uninsured patients who need stents through the Mount Sinai Hospital emergency room, in order to make sure the (very expensive) procedure is paid for. Many of these patients already had appointments with the hospital cath-lab, and some may not have needed the procedure in the first place. Gary Putka, Bloomberg News editor, explains the tactic, as well as other irregularities within Mount Sinai that lead to huge profits, though maybe not what's best for patients' health.

Statement from Mt Sinai in Response to the Bloomberg News Investigation

"The Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory (CCL) at Mount Sinai is the safest program of its kind in New York State and one of the safest in the country, according to comparative, statewide statistics and data reported by the American College of Cardiology. We firmly stand by our CCL's results as well as by the processes used to identify appropriateness of procedures and to prospectively and retrospectively oversee the quality of care."

Guests:

Gary Putka

Comments [11]

You forgot the core platform of Ron Paul's plan:

If you get sick and need a hospital visit, you should have a community bake sale to pay for it.

Mar. 12 2014 02:58 PM

A better solution would be the Ron Paul Healthcare bill:

A. Provides all Americans with a tax credit for 100% of health care expenses. The tax credit is fully refundable against both income and payroll taxes;
B. Allows individuals to roll over unused amounts in cafeteria plans and Flexible Savings Accounts (FSA);
C. Provides a tax credit for premiums for high-deductible insurance policies connected with a Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and allows seniors to use funds in HSAs to pay for medigap policies;
D. Repeals the 7.5% threshold for the deduction of medical expenses, thus making all medical expenses tax deductible.

This bill also creates a competitive market in heath insurance. It achieves this goal by exercising Congress’s authority under the Commerce Clause to allow individuals to purchase
health insurance across state lines.
http://www.ronpaul.com/.../private-option-health-care-act/

Mar. 12 2014 12:10 PM

A better solution would be the Ron Paul Healthcare bill:

A. Provides all Americans with a tax credit for 100% of health care expenses. The tax credit is fully refundable against both income and payroll taxes;
B. Allows individuals to roll over unused amounts in cafeteria plans and Flexible Savings Accounts (FSA);
C. Provides a tax credit for premiums for high-deductible insurance policies connected with a Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and allows seniors to use funds in HSAs to pay for medigap policies;
D. Repeals the 7.5% threshold for the deduction of medical expenses, thus making all medical expenses tax deductible.

This bill also creates a competitive market in heath insurance. It achieves this goal by exercising Congress’s authority under the Commerce Clause to allow individuals to purchase
health insurance across state lines.
http://www.ronpaul.com/.../private-option-health-care-act/

Mar. 12 2014 12:07 PM

Could the Harlem explosion be the work of anti-music Muslim terrorists attacking a piano store?
The smell of gas before the blast provides a less unusual explanation for the blast.

Mar. 12 2014 12:06 PM
Jake from LI

Related Story: Baltimore cardiologist Dr. Mark Midei "... may have implanted 585 stents which were medically unnecessary from 2007 to 2009. Medicare paid $3.8 million of the $6.6 million charged for those procedures. The report also describes the close relationship between Dr. Midei and Abbott Labs, which paid consulting fees to the cardiologist after he left the hospital."

www.nytimes.com/2010/12/06/health/06stent.html

Mar. 12 2014 12:04 PM
Jake from LI

My 102 year old father was dying peacefully at home when he was dragged into an ambulance up to Mt Sinai Hospital in NYC over my mother's protests, and even though he had a DNR at Mt Sinai. He was subjected to this unnecessary bout of final suffering probably to squeeze a final few tens of thousands of dollars out of Medicare (ie, the taxpayers).

Mar. 12 2014 12:00 PM
John A

So did all of the city's Catholic hospitals close on the basis of not being dishonest enough to compete, I wonder?

Mar. 12 2014 11:59 AM
Fiona from Brooklyn

Somewhat related, as I was undergoing cancer diagnosis at Methodist in Brooklyn, I was told to go through the ER for a scheduled CAT scan that I couldn't pay cash for. They advised me to say I was having "head pain" and everything!

Mar. 12 2014 11:44 AM
Alberto from Queens

Mt. Sinai just took over Beth Israel which is a network I've been using for some time without much problems. This just makes me doubt the quality of the care I'm going to receive. Specially since I have some chronic ailments.

This is why we need to remove these ridiculous profit motives out of medicine. Administrators are too aggressive about "selling" and don't know anything about care.

Mar. 12 2014 11:44 AM
Mary from Bronx

Such greed is not new for Mt. Sinai. After my father died in Mt. Sinai after a prolonged illness (neuro not cardio), I discovered in reviewing his Medicare records that the hospital charged Medicare for 3 days of services AFTER the date of his death.
What was most disturbing to me was that I had to call 3 levels of Medicare to find someone who cared to investigate.

Mar. 12 2014 11:39 AM
sophia

No one should be surprised by this.

It's the natural result of following the incentives of an unnecessarily complicated for-profit delivery system.

Mar. 12 2014 11:26 AM

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