In my last post I made the comment that Medicare recipients were viewed as cash cows by hospitals that stood to gain the most financial reward from their care; that the fee for service model of health care business made them a bountiful source of revenue. My Domestic Advisor didn’t care much for my choice of words and I was almost ready to soften my language when this morning’s news report brought me a bit of validation. Turns out that in a breakdown of Medicare spending – in all regions of the country – parts of New York State are at the top of the spending list. Those areas also charge the most for an overnight stay in a hospital bed. They are also showing higher than normal numbers of nights spent in hospital.
I admit that my choice of words like “cash cow”, was perhaps overstating my point, and I do apologize if it offended, but it makes me mad to see the data supporting my contention that a Medicare recipient is a source of health care revenue for those organizations, facilities, and companies providing products and services for them. There is a LOT of that data too. See some of it here.
To my way of thinking, the fee for service model has broken the bank (or it will very soon), but what is FAR worse is the needless suffering perpetrated on frail elders at the end of life. Far worse.