Hospital is really a Business

July 15, 2013

money and drugs
Photo credit : Images Money.

Reason Why I Never Buy Medications From the Hospital Pharmacy

When my wife was having four month age of pragnancy, I took her to a gynaecologist to check my unborn first daughter. Because my family health care are covered by the company where I work, I then asked the gynaecologist to give me the receipt, in which I can use it along with the copy of prescription, to reimburse it to the head office. You know what? A simple receipt had cost me 50% from the total medical check cost.

How did I know? When my wife still at the bed waited with me, I heard that the first couple paid the gynaecologist for IDR 50,000,- without asking for receipt. As for my wife, I must pay for IDR 75,000,-, in which was also written on the receipt.

We met again with the first couple in the hospital pharmacy line, I assumed that my wife age of pregnancy was nearly the same with the lady. I took a peek at the couple presciption, two kind of medications were prescribed. I saw mine, my wife was prescribed with three kind of medications, due to I asked the gynaecologist to add Obimin-AF (a multivitamin for pregnancy and breast-feeding) along with his own presciption.

You know what?? The first couple had cost for IDR 200,000 for all the medications. When my presciption was taken by the pharmacist, she told me that she ran out of Obimin-AF. I then asked her to give back the prescription to me.

My wife and I then went to Kimia Farma pharmacy, in which was known by everybody for selling high price medications but also high quality. You know what??? The whole three medications only cost me for IDR 75,000,-.

Other case. In a famous hospital in Surabaya, where my grandmother's sister were staying due to a coma. My uncle was curious about the price of a single medication that cost for IDR 80,000,- each. The medication cannot be bought outside the hospital, due to the prescription was not using any paper. But, directly from the doctor to the hospital pharmacy through the hospital computer network.

You know what???? That single medication only cost for IDR 8,000,- each in the Kimia Farma pharmacy. 10% from the price that was sold in the hospital pharmacy.

Link Between Postsurgical Complications and Hospital Revenues

Recent study by several health care specialists, had concluded that depending on how patients pay the bill, hospitals have the potential for adverse near-term financial consequences for decreasing postsurgical complications.

By using the data of 34,256 people who had surgery in 2010 at one of 12 hospitals run by Texas Health Resources, the team found that the occurrence of postsurgical complications were associated with a higher hospital revenues for patients covered by Medicare and private insurance, but a lower one for patients covered by Medicaid, and those who paid by themself. (Eappen S, et al. 2013)

Both Medicare and Medicaid are governmental programs which provide medical and health services for the people in the United States. The different between Medicare and Medicaid is that, Medicare covered elder people or disabled people, while Medicaid covered people with low incomes.

From above study is clearly showed that hospitals gain more revenues from the patients who have postsurgical complications. The longer patients stay in the hospital, the more money they will have to pay, even for the malpractices, or medical mistakes by the physicians, or the hospitals.

Moreover, the team suggested that by changing the payment system, may lower postsurgical complication rates. On the contrary, hospitals will gain less revenues, if they take better care of patients. One of the team member, Barry Rosenberg, MD, MBA, said the team was stunned to realize that lowering the complication rates would actually cost the hospital money.

Thank God, until now, my wife and I, also both my children are never staying in the hospital, to receive intensive medications. Only my son who once experienced a few minutes in the ICU, due to a stage 4 skin burn.

Reference :

Hospitals Profit From Surgical Errors, Study Finds by Denise Grady
The New York Times

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