December 16, 2009 in Letters

Clinic will feel profit motive

The Spokesman-Review
 

Rockwood Clinic has for years sent 90 percent of its patients needing hospitalization to Sacred Heart and sister hospital Holy Family. The remaining 10 percent went to Deaconess (“Rockwood vote coming up,” Dec. 10). Now, it appears that these same physicians will radically shift their preferences to Deaconess over the Providence system.

Why? Have the nonprofit Providence hospitals all of a sudden drastically deteriorated in quality? Definitely not. Has Deaconess suddenly made marked improvements in service? Not yet.

I guess the decision is based on money. Rockwood doctors will get richer with an alliance with the for-profit Community Health system. But at what cost? Community Health will have the final say on budgeting issues, but Rockwood physicians will direct patient care.

My guess: If you’re not sending enough patients (preferably those with money or good insurance) to Deaconess, it could cost you next payday. The nonprofit hospitals put all their money back into local services, people and facilities. Some of the for-profit income goes out of Spokane into somebody’s pocket. The new arrangement will benefit Rockwood and Community Health but will hurt the rest of us.

Donald Calbreath

Spokane


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