One of the largest complaints from the nurses is the “staffing by numbers”, in other words all patient conditions are not equal and one nurse may have 6 patients who require a lot of care and when the mix of patients who require less care is not considered, the nurses state patients are not getting the care they need. This is a good point and shows that the human element has to be considered as no two patients are the same and you can’t offer imagegood care simply by the algorithms.  This is a big issue I write about all the time as you cannot do everything by the numbers when it comes to care and certainly reports can help generate better care with finding items that were overlooked, you can just shove nurses and patients into a pool of formulas and say “this is what you get”.  It’s cold, calculated and something none of us really want to experience, even the bean counters that develop some of these models they sell as profit making procedures wouldn’t enjoy it. 

SoCal Hospital Workers Plan to Stage a 24 Hour Walk Out Later This Week–Breakdown of Negotiations With HCA For Profit Owner- Its Not Money But Rather Working Conditions


KKR, based in New York, and Boston-based Bain, along with Merrill Lynch & Co., bought HCA in 2006 for $33 billion..  HCA runs 164 hospitals in the US and almost as many surgery centers.  This is the third IPO for the company.  The support from state legislators and Governor elect Jerry Brown is also interesting here as well.

Bain Capital, is the current HCA owner and Florida Governor elect Rick Scott was forced to resign as HCA CEO due to Medicare fraud  scandals.  The DOJ settled the largest healthcare fraud case in history against HCA.  It’s amazing that the former CEO was elected governor in Florida. 

With this current track history on record it does leave some big questions to be answered about how HCA is really run and what type of algorithmic formulas are used for profit making.  HCA has netted $924 million in net income.  Now let’s take a loo at something else non related when it comes to profits, you have a big hospital chain and then look at this small Medicare HMO and what they pocket, interesting isn’t it.  This is a big part of why healthcare is so expensive in the US as those big profit have to be paid out while hospitals and doctors struggle, all in those financing algorithms. 

HealthSpring To Pay $545M For Bravo Health Medicare Company With Profits of 1 Billion in 2009-Over 800 Million in 2010 Thus Far

The private equity owners of HCA paid themselves a $2 Billion dollar dividend in November, so now with the IPO, there’s a reach out for gaining even more money for the current PE owners of KKK & Company and Bain Capital, LLC.  Not comforting to know if you just want to get care and I’m sure the nurses are aware of some of these factors as well when then make their move to ensure better patient care and again it’s the bean counter algorithms for profits that forget about the humans once more it appears.  Wait until they need care.  BD

With support from California Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield and California State Senator Fran Pavley, along with an enthusiastic nod from Governor-elect Jerry Brown and sanctioning from LA Federation of Labor, Central Labor Council of San Bernardino and Riverside Counties, registered nurses from Riverside Community Hospital (Riverside) and West Hills Hospital (San Fernando Valley) took to the streets at 5:30AM on December 23rd to begin a five day permitted strike against the world’s largest for profit hospital chain and billion dollar felon, Hospital Corporation of America (HCA).

Assemblyman Blumenfield similarly endorsed the nurses concerns in his letter to Vice President Battista:

“On behalf of the Registered Nurses and the community of West Hills, I’m asking your hospital to bargain in good faith with SEIU Local 121RN; to make sure that workers are treated fairly and equitably; to insure that changes in staffing or working conditions do not put patients and caregivers at risk; and, finally, to agree on a contract with strong protections for patients and workers.”

CA Nurses Strike Against Billion-Dollar Felon, HCA « SpeakEasy


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