Sunday, July 28, 2013

Kaiser Permanente Profits versus Patients

Kaiser Permanente the largest private managed care organization in the U.S. and only second in size to the Veterans Administration.  Over the past decade Kaiser Permanente has also gone from a reasonably priced alternative for health care to one of the most expensive in the country.  KP offers no explanation for the increased costs, only that this is part of doing business. Decades ago Kaiser was a non-profit that helped all people, then they changed to a for profit model, using wording that still claims non-profit status. Although, KP did reported almost $3 billion in non-taxed profit last year, and CEO George Halvorson’s annual compensation was $6.7 million.

Here is the problem; Kaiser Permanente is a private company owned and run by doctors. This is not unusual many hospitals and health systems are owned and run by doctors. But companies like Southwest Airlines are also owned by their employees, but Southwest tries to keep their costs to the customers low.  However, at Kaiser it is only the doctors getting annual profit sharing. So when making a decision about a patient’s medical care does the doctor also think about saving money, costly procedures, and those annual profit-sharing checks. Face it, the more profitable the company, the bigger those bonuses. Sounds like a big conflict of interest when your doctor is deciding between patient care and their bank account.            

Monday, July 15, 2013

Next Chapter

Clinicals are completed and my final project handed in.  Which means I am finally done with school, well unless I go back for my DNP or PhD, and that will not be happening this year.  Board certification and a resume will be the next projects.  Now that I have started looking at jobs, it feels good to see so many available. I have physicians and NPs that I worked with willing to give me references.  You always want doctors you worked with for your references, but always wonder what they really thought about your skills. The medical and nursing models are different ways of working and caring for patients.  
One doctor is trying to get me a job where she works, but I don't know if that is a good fit. I would like to stay here, but the other day Las Vegas sounded good, now that Nevada has passed the bill for NP independence. The only bad thing about Vegas is I do not like the desert climate.  

Anyway, maybe for the next chapter in life I should start a new blog. Especially one not connected to the Google platforms. Although nothing is going to happen for a few weeks while I rest first.