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1209717_19610439The focus of this web site is medicine. In this blog, you’ll read about patient stories. The situations have been changed to be HIPAA compliant. Factual statements may or may not be true. I may change ages, gender or presenting complaints about patients. I may even entirely make up complete patient encounters from my fertile imagination. Trust me, if you think I’m writing about you, I’m not. There are billions of people in this world and readers send me stories about patients all the time. It isn’t you.
You’ll also read a lot about health care policy. I may throw in posts about life lessons, computers, and will even throw in family stories once in a while. If you’re looking for articles about politics, sports, or celebrities, you’re in the wrong place – unless the topics have some relationship to medicine.
If you want to add a guest post or to cross-post something from your blog, or if you have a patient story you want me to write about, e-mail me. See more information in the “About Me” page.

Refuse Medicaid patients, get sued

According to a July 23 article in AM News, the Illinois attorney general is suing two Illinois clinics because they made a business decision not to accept new Medicaid patients. Let’s look at the facts: According to the AMA, Illinois is one of 17 states in a medical liability crisis. Three of the American Tort Reform Association’s top six “judicial hellholes” are located in Illinois. Illinois pays next to nothing for physicians to see Medicaid patients. This article implies that Illinois is paying physicians $30 per visit for Medicaid patients when it costs the physicians $300 per hour just to keep the doors open. No, I take that back. In some cases, Illinois doesn’t pay next to nothing to healthcare providers who see Medicaid patients. Instead, Illinois pays nothing at all. Illinois’ Medicaid program already owes $1.5 billion in late payments to pharmacists, doctors, nursing homes, and other medical providers who have provided care to Medicaid patients. See the article “Illinois Medicaid Takes on New Costs – Governor accused of ignoring unpaid bills” and the article “Illinois’ Medicaid money to hospitals MIA“. Oh, and by the way, the public hospitals in Cook County are cutting services because the county and state don’t have the money to pay for them. See Doctors leaving Stroger Hospital So Illinois has one of the worst malpractice climates in the US, it costs the involved clinics money every time they see a state-funded patient, the state isn’t paying the clinics the small amount of money the state owes them for taking care of state-funded patients, and the state is partly to blame for closures at the county hospitals where state-funded patients could go to be seen. The clinics make a responsible business decision to stop seeing patients because they lose money and increase liability every time they take care of a patient. Now Lisa Madigan has the gall to sue the clinics? Let’s look at what will happen if this lawsuit is successful: Illinois continues to collect billions of dollars in taxes to fund care of public aid patients Illinois cuts back on more medical services and closes more public clinics because of “lack of funding” Public aid patients have nowhere to go for care, so they seek care at private clinics State doesn’t pay private clinics for taking care of public aid patients Private clinics lose more and more money until they make business decision to stop seeing public aid patients State sues private clinics to force them to continue caring for publicly-funded patients without being paid or being grossly underpaid State saves billions of dollars per year in what amounts to court-ordered involuntary servitude against health care providers. Good business decision, Ms. Madigan. Way to attract more health care providers to do business in Illinois. What’s next – suing people who decide to quit their state government jobs to force them to keep working for substandard wages? Does your dad have anything to do with this lawsuit? I included the complete text of the AM News article below for those who don’t have access to the AM News web site.

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