The viability of rural hospitals, fighting to remain financially solvent despite implementation of additional mandates, must be balanced with the need for nurses working 12-hour shifts to have protected time for meals or breaks. Both are important and a viable resolution exists somewhere in between. Sacrificing meals and breaks for nursing staff already dangerously spread thin is not the solution to keep rural hospitals afloat. And indeed, Senate Bill 1155 passed with bipartisan support and will now head to the Governor’s desk for signing.
The country bearing the closest resemblance to the U.S. proposal, where decision-making is centralized, is France, where the government is responsible for 77% of total health expenditures. There is an out-of-pocket cost share for patients though it is relatively low, at 7% annually. The Netherlands, Singapore, and Taiwan are also highly centralized; however, they are smaller in scale–with populations similar to that of individual U.S. states – and their relative affluence allows them to sidestep long wait times.
There are 800,000 physicians in America and more than 65% believe the Maintenance of Certification process, known as MOC, has no clinical value for patients. For the first time in the history of our profession, physicians have a fighting chance to topple a Goliath-esque organization, the American Board of Medical Specialties.
Research shows that physician-owned practices provide better quality of care. For example, in comparison to organizations employing more than 100 physicians, practices with 3 to 9 physicians had 27% fewer preventable hospital admissions and those comprised of one or two physicians had 33% fewer preventable hospital admissions. Fewer days spent in the hospital leads to fewer bills for consumers to pay.
In a socialist construct, one central power controls the means of production and the goods produced, goods which may someday include U.S. physicians. The Cuban government generates $11 billion annually by “leasing” their physicians out to foreign countries, in order to fund the Cuban national health system, which is “free.”