There’s a proposal in New York that would grant authority to the state health commissioner to replace hospital management and remove board members when self-interest or poor quality of care is an issue. The authors of the proposal have this to say “The boards of some of these hospitals have failed to satisfy fully their responsibilities to the organization and their communities . . . Instead, they have adopted a strategy that seeks merely to be the last man standing in their communities.”
I guess the authors forget that we live in a free market society and any industry that turns its back on its customers will fail. If there are hospitals not making decisions in the best interest of their community or their organization, eventually they will fail and everyone associated with the organization will be without a job.
Fortunately, GVMH is governed by an elected board. GVMH is a district hospital and our six board members are elected from various geographic portions of the district we serve. I firmly believe that one of the reasons GVMH has been successful at anticipating and meeting the healthcare needs of our community is because our board represents the community we serve and they help guide us.
There is a situation in health care where a policy to “boot” someone not acting in the best interest of a community could be beneficial. What if hospital executives and boards could remove public officials who serve only themselves.
Congress has tried and failed repeatedly to fix the health care system and it has been apparent that they do not always act in the best health care interest of the communities they serve. It’s not beyond a member of congress to sacrifice public interest to get re-elected and take advantage of perks. Remember when the health care reform debate was going on and the two sides of the aisle could not come together or reach a compromise. I did a blog at the time and commented that two pieces necessary for true health care reform weren’t even being discussed. Those two pieces are tort reform and pharmaceutical costs.
Tort reform would limit the amount a physician can be sued for malpractice thus reducing all of the unnecessary cost associated with defensive medicine. We all understand the outrageous cost of prescription drugs and the control of drug costs would limit unnecessary health care expenditures as well. Neither of these topics made it into the health care reform bill that was passed – and do you know why? Special interest groups were able to exert influence over congress (and money which is influence if you’re in congress) to keep these highly lucrative industries, yet highly costly for the average American, out of any real attempt at reform.
Maybe I’m changing my mind, maybe there should be a policy to “boot” those not acting in the best interest of their communities but I’m not sure hospital executives and boards are the right targets!