I Feel I May Have Been Unfair To Big Pharma Pud Suckers.

I mean, for over six years now I've written periodically about pharmaceutical rip offs, scientific shenanigans, and overall shady dealings. But pud sucking in health care is far from limited to the drug industry my friends. Today I'll even the score a little bit. To an item in last month's California Watch, a website you should have bookmarked long ago if you are the least bit interested in the affairs of The Golden State:

California Department of Public Health inspectors examined records at four hospitals owned by Prime Healthcare Services and found that 22 of 120 patients diagnosed with septicemia showed few symptoms of the disease. 
At one San Bernardino County hospital, a patient was diagnosed with septicemia even though records showed “no sign of infection,” inspectors found. At a Los Angeles County hospital, inspectors said seven patients diagnosed with septicemia showed signs of having urinary tract infections, a far less serious condition.

I've long said that incompetence, laziness, stupidity and greed are the four forces that rule the universe. Almost anything that happens can be explained with one of these four words, and this case is no exception.

Medicare pays bonuses of several thousand dollars per case for treating elderly patients with septicemia, federal records show. Prime Healthcare’s chairman, Dr. Prem Reddy, testified in a 2005 trial that his hospitals were reimbursed about $9,000 for treating a septicemia case – $6,000 more than a urinary tract infection.

What? You were thinking incompetence? No, no, no grasshopper. Greed is by far the most powerful of the four forces. Always assume greed is the driving force until you can prove otherwise.

I gotta say though, $3000 for treating a urinary tract infection? Really? I could diagnose and cure a UTI for $50 and still be making a fat-ass margin, and this fucker cooks the books for an extra $6K per case. Part of me admires that. The part that doesn't pay Medicare taxes.

To get some perspective, In my imagination I called Florida governor Rick Scott, elected last year after ripping off Medicare and Medicaid for over a billion dollars as head of the hospital chain Columbia/HCA.

"It's not a bad start" Scott didn't say. "But to assure he doesn't end up in jail, he should probably run for political office, and the amounts involved here are way too small to further one's political career. Stealing $18 million like this guy appears to have done is probably barely enough to get you elected to a city council seat, although the adamant denials he's done anything wrong are a good start. His next move should be an attack on the very programs he's profiting from if he ever wants to gain any traction with the voters."

"Or, considering he's in California, make a bad action movie or two, pretend he's fighting off aliens or something. Either way he needs to appeal to people's stupidity. because while greed is the most powerful force in the universe, stupidity is far more common."

I couldn't have said it better myself. I'm calling it today my friends. Get ready for Reddy for Governor in 2014, and be sure to think of him every time it hurts to pee.
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I Feel I May Have Been Unfair To Big Pharma Pud Suckers.
I Feel I May Have Been Unfair To Big Pharma Pud Suckers.
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