Saturday, May 17, 2014

Obama care results in hospital layoffs

The Affordable Care Ace, Obamacare (is it really affordable?),  has resulted in cuts in reimbursement to hospitals, making it nearly impossible for many hospitals to stay afloat without taking some sort of action.  Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines, Iowa, was among the first victims as it was forced to lay off 29 people, albeit non medical workers.

To make matters worse, hospital administration said that this was not an effort to cut costs, because all it will do is make it so the hospital can continue running on the current budget.  The reason for this is that Obamacare requires hospitals to focus on keeping patients healthy at home, thus preventing them from being readmitted.

This is the kind of thing that you knew was going to come when the government was given the power to pay for healthcare.  When mom and dad are paying the bills, they get to set the rules, even when they don't make sense.

Readmissions for patients diagnosed with heart attacks, strokes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pneumonia and heart failure were costing the government too much money, so they basically set a new rule making hospitals responsible for making sure they are not readmitted.

In other words, if a hospital has a readmission rate for these ailments that is too high, the Fed will reduce reimbursement.  This is why Mercy Medical Center was forced to lay off workers.  In order to comply with the program, they have to utilize workers already on the payroll to create programs that will focus on patient education, and also to monitor patients in the home setting to make sure they are taking their medicines, and living an otherwise healthy lifestyle.

This program does have good intentions, as it is meant to keep patients healthy.  However, if it was a viable program, it would have been done years ago. The reason it wasn't is because it is extremely expensive.  And, it is for this reason that hospitals in situations similar to Mercy will also start to see layoffs, followed by cuts in benefits, and freezes on pay raises. Some hospitals that have been running independently for years will be forced to sell out or merge with larger organizations, and many others will simply close their doors forever.

"It's inevitable folks," says one critique of the governmental demands.  "The entire system was designed to fail so people come crawling to the government to bail them out with a universal healthcare program.  The only way to stop it is for the voters to voice their concerns during the 2014 and 2016 election cycles and vote people into office who will repeal the affordable care act, otherwise known as Obamacare.