Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Hospitals out for the money
“Postnatal hospital stays are decreasing in length not only because insurance companies have begun to assess why childbirth is so expensive, but also because of a movement of women across the country who don’t want childbirth treated as an illness and have welcomed the opportunity to leave the hospital as soon as possible. Yet hospitals have for decades encouraged women to stay,” wrote Alexandra Lally Peters, a former president of the Maternity Center Association, in a letter to the editor of the New York Times in 1994. “Because these women, who aren’t really sick and who require minimal care, are paying plenty for their extra care, are paying plenty for their extra days. The maternity wing, as any hospital administrator will tell you, generally floats a hospital. The almighty dollar is speaking here.” (emphasis added)
This really struck me. I know money drives hospitals and Dr.’s to do a lot of unnecessary interventions, but I had no idea that the maternity ward carries the hospital. So, no wonder they don’t practice evidence based care, they know there is evidence against these interventions but they don’t care. The interventions make money. This is sickening and wrong. I know a hospital is a business but since when did doing business mean you harm your customers all for money. I thought business was supposed to be a win-win situation not a win-lose situation. And by the way your doctor and hospital and nurses were hired by you, so if you don’t like something they do or the way they do stuff FIRE THEM! As a child may say “they aren’t the boss of you”.
What I don’t get is that if insurance companies are so concerned with the money going out for maternity care why aren’t they asking more questions on why certain procedures are being done? Why does it seem like every women that goes to the hospital automatically gets Pitocin, whether needed or not? Why are most Certified Professional Midwives not covered by insurance companies? It’s considerably cheaper to cover them and the care they offer (and better outcomes) then for doctors.
One thing I did get from the book, one person can make a difference. There have been many people that have changed the way birth was treated for good and bad over time. I want to help women become informed about birth as I know many others who do. Hopefully change is on the horizon.