Hospitals profit off making you sick
Hospitals where patients are routinely sickened and even killed by gross negligence, filthy conditions, and medical mistakes should be shut down -- and the administrators locked up.
Instead, these festering pits are actually REWARDED for their screw-ups with heaping piles of cash to "treat" the very patients they actually harmed.
One of the most common -- and deadliest -- hospital-acquired infections is the central line-associated bloodstream infection, or CLABSI. Basically, it's a dirty IV tube -- or dirty docs and nurses handling the tube once it's in -- and it should never happen.
Instead, it happens so often that it sickens 80,000 American hospital patients a year and KILLS 28,000 of them.
But those aren't the numbers most hospitals care about. No siree -- the number they really care about is $50,000.
That's that EXTRA PROFIT they make off each patient who suffers one of these infections, according to new research published online in the American Journal of Medical Quality.
A normal ICU patient who isn't infected earns a hospital roughly $6,506 in profit. But a patient who gets a central line-associated bloodstream infection, on the other hand, is a veritable cash cow earning the hospital nearly $55,000 on average.
That's not the total cost -- that's just the profit, free and clear. The total cost to your insurer is roughly $400,000 extra per stay.
(CLABSI infections aren't the only thing you need to worry about with a stay in the hospital. To find out what could be lurking in your hospital food... besides bad taste... click here. But I must warn you first... this one isn't for the faint of stomach.)
The researchers have some well-intentioned ideas on how to improve conditions at these hospitals, like asking insurers to fund programs designed to increase hygiene and cut down on infections.
PUH-leaze! Why should insurance companies pay to teach doctors and nurses to wash their hands? I've got a much better idea: Don't pay hospitals a single penny for patients who are sickened or hurt by their care.
Remove the financial incentive for screw-ups -- and PENALIZE them for incompetence -- and you can bet this will change overnight.