Must viewing: 60 Minutes piece alleges corporate pressure on ER docs to admit more patients
December 2, 2012, 8:53 pm
Just a day after the New York Times ran a long piece investigating how the corporatization of medicine is putting pressure on emergency physicians to admit more patients — even if admission was not medically indicated — and on in-patient practitioners to extend stays to increase financial reimbursement, CBS’s 60 Minutes aired a piece this evening alleging similar claims against the for-profit hospital chain Health Management Associates and the ER staffing firm EmCare. It is must viewing.
In association with this current story, 60 Minutes Overtime reposted a 1993 Mike Wallace report about large ER staffing companies hiring unqualified physicians (“warm bodies”) to cover emergency shifts and even run regional groups. During the piece, Wallace interviews both Dr. Robert McNamara and Dr. Jim Keaney, who wrote the seminal book The Rape of Emergency Medicine. In the almost 20 years since the Wallace report originally aired, many things have changed but the profit motive may have become stronger than ever: