Friday, April 14, 2017

Why are hospital administrators gutless?

As a 1969 graduate of the old hospital administration program at the University of Iowa, I follow how hospitals handle a wide range of issues. The history of hospitals in the United States, from the first one in Philadelphia founded by Ben Franklin and Dr. Thomas Bond until the contamination of the U.S. health care system by the Republican and Ronald Reagan, reflected a sense of community and charitable behavior. Nonprofit corporations and religious sponsorship dominated the hospital sector; and, the behavior of the leadership in the industry reflected that philosophy.

Which is why this story caught my eye.

But, after Reagan, hospital administrators and university leadership for training administrators became tainted by the MBAs and business models. Further the right-wing disinformation merchants callously and calculatedly spread a Big Lie, that health care could and should be “market driven” and “competitive.” Doing so misinformed the public about the basic economic facts: medical and health economics’ characteristics cannot be consider classic supply-demand markets. And those lies opened the way for a larger proportion of for-profit hospitals — which the industry euphemistically called “investor-owned.”

I’ve seen little evidence that hospital administrator training programs and their graduates counter this Big Lie. Nor do those programs that claim cutting edge health policy research and expertise reach out to the public to advocate for a more rational and appropriate approach to the nation’s health care system. I don’t know why this is the case. In my view, it’s gutless grasping for bureaucratic and employment stability. Or, perhaps there are darker reasons, like whoring for their funding sources.

So, asking for money in advance simply continues destroying America’s sense of kindness, community and compassion.

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