To be added to your summer reading agenda: “Hospital: Man, Woman, Birth, Death, Infinity, Plus Red Tape, Bad Behavior, Money, God and Diversity on Steroids” by Julie Salamon.
It seems to be an ultra-insider look at the innerworkings of a hospital—Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn.
From the review:
To me, the big surprise in this book — I can hear the doctors out there laughing — is how much hospitals, even nonprofit community hospitals like Maimonides, think about money. As administrators there say, “No margin, no mission.” I was under the impression that hospitals have to treat anyone who comes to the emergency room, but there are many definitions of “treat.” Hospitals have to stabilize patients, it seems, but they do not have to cure them. If patients can walk and their wallets are empty, they can be walked to the door. Administrators track the performance of all the doctors. Operations are a gold mine and admissions are good, but only if the patient doesn’t stay longer than insurance permits. “We don’t want more of the elderly, complicated patient,” the head of the cancer center says — actually says! — at a meeting.