Our local hospital, a part of the Peacehealth system in Washington State, has been purchasing medical practices and incorporating them under their brand. It is the only hospital in town, the next one is about 25 miles south.
In addition to general physicians specialists are being added. All the the oncologists in town were added last fall and the cardiologists (except one) this year.
The medical oncologists had a new well-equipped infusion center at their practice which is located a few miles from the hospital. Last month with minimal discussion, the infusion center was moved to the hospital. No explanation was given but one can assume this “non-profit” made the decision because they can bill more for services at the hospital than in an office setting.
Medicynical note: At some point cost and value will need to be addressed and gaming of payments stopped. It doesn’t appear however, that this will happen soon as businesses have a fiduciary responsibility to maximize profit and consumers are insensitive to pricing when someone else pays and health issues are involved.
Addendum 12/16 PM — It’s hard not to be offended by organizations manipulating health care procedures to increase billings and ultimately patient cost. Value, patient convenience, efficiency does not seem to be in their vocabulary.