A writer who has “never experienced any of its services” opined the problem of untoward hospital readmissions can be solved by making the doctors responsible, alluding, I surmise, to the simpler good old days when our personal physicians followed us into hospital.
Oh, that we were back in that simpler time.
While practice patterns vary nationwide, here in paradise the physicians who know you best are not the ones caring for you in the hospital. Diagnosis Related Groups (“DRGs”) is the government’s way of controlling costs by providing a fixed reimbursement for a given patient problem. Once the allotted time and payment is exceeded, the hospital itself suffers the added cost.
In large part reacting to that problem, hospitalists were invented: employed by and working for the hospital’s best interests. So, now, the hospital does indeed discharge patients, hopefully to beat the DRG. Our personal physicians do not even go to the hospital any longer.
Hold the thought, though. It’s possible the system will change again since we natives are restless.
Charles P. Duvall
Hilton Head Island