February 21, 2011

MEDICINE IS JUST ANOTHER CONSUMER GOOD:

Governor to Hospitals: End Building Boom Now (Elaine Grant, February 17, 2011, NHPR)

Governor Lynch: “Instead of using that excess cash to reduce health care costs, hospitals spend it on advertising, trying to attract market share from each other; on buying physician and laboratory practices across the state and increasing overhead charges to patients.”

Calling for a halt to expansion, Lynch said hospitals spent half a billion dollars in the last five years building new facilities and buying equipment.

And they have at least $70 million dollars more in projects on the drawing board.

Governor Lynch:“…And these facilities are driving up utilization and driving up health care costs. Those are costs that we all see in our ever-increasing health insurance premiums. To that, I say enough.”

Health care insiders and policy makers for years have been worried about what they say is runaway building by the state’s hospitals

Paul Spiess chairs a legislative study committee on hospital cost containment.

He says hospitals have spent close to a billion dollars in the last decade on new facilities and amenities – from fancy lobbies to color MRIs


Paul Spiess, former chair, Citizens Health Initiative and chair, SB 505 Hospital Cost Containment Commission:“It’s sort of developed into an arms race.”

An arms race to attract patients.

Paul Spiess:“There’s not a lot of evidence that it’s particularly improving care or that there is a rising need for the additional facilities.”


What does better health care have to do with anything?

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 21, 2011 6:50 AM
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