Unsafe By Any Measure

Although health care is one of the most heavily regulated sectors of our economy, "hospitals are rarely closed or hit with significant financial penalties for hurting patients." More often than not, the worst institutions are liberally subsidized. This is from a New York Times story on University Hospital in Syracuse:

HealthGrades, a company that rates hospitals using data from Medicare, ranks University among the least safe hospitals in the United States.

In 2006, patients at University had a 1-in-37 chance of suffering postoperative blood infections, compared with a 1-in-65 chance statewide…They had an 8.6 percent chance of dying from pneumonia, compared with a 5.5 percent chance statewide.

Yet, today, University remains under state ownership.

University Hospital received a state subsidy of $42.2 million, about $2,500 for each patient it admitted, to make up for higher wages negotiated with the hospital union.

This example is not isolated. "In 2004, New Yorkers and their insurers spent an average of $6,535 for each patient on health care, 24 percent more than the national average. Yet New Yorkers are more likely to die from chronic disease than people in any other state."



Comments (3)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Joe S. says:

    Perfect example of why it’s so hard to reform health care. Government is protecting the special interests.

  2. Keith says:

    If Patsy line were correct it would be forgiveable. However, this is not crazy, it’s venal.

  3. Vicki says:

    Remember these astonishing facts: This hospital is (1) owned by government and (2) subsidized by government.

    The next time Paul Krugman editorializes that there is too little government in health care, send him the orignial article from his own newspaper.