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« Hello Doctor. I Wouldn't Hesitate To Sue You | Main | Physicians In Transition: Learning To Bounce Back »

Hospital Administrators Are Not Always Honest

Guest post by John Di Saia, MD

Hospital administrators have an agenda that's not always aligned with yours.

I used to do emergency work at a hospital in a large chain. It was hardy profitable and became less so over time. When I moved an hour away I sought to limit my emergency exposure for obvious reasons. The hospital administration cited sections of the Bylaws and Rules and Regulations that mandated that surgical specialists take call. This was specified for Plastic Surgery and Orthopedics.

Later and entirely by accident, I found out that the Orthopedists were being paid to take this emergency call by the same administration that was citing those hospital documents. Essentially they were being paid to take call from 15 minutes away whereas I was required to take call for free from four times the distance. Needless to say I dropped that hospital after briefly entertaining legal action. So soon after my divorce I hardly wanted to enrich another attorney. They are much smarter about getting paid than physicians are. I did inform a contact at the local newspaper who passed on the story stating that the public doesn't really care if a doctor gets screwed over. I found that a bit amusing.

As the story evolved I extended my practice up the street not so far away and something similar almost happened again. This time the administration in my new acute care hospital sought to get into an arrangement with me to take call. They were very quick to stipulate that this arrangement was to be secret. It was to involve some kind of payment from the hospital. The thought left a bad taste in my mouth. Emergency call is a loser. I just stopped taking it.

The moral of this story is that you should not expect hospital administrators to be honorable people. Entering into any kind of business arrangement with them especially a secret one is liable to be unfair, unjust or just plain illegal. You might want to avoid that.

About: John DiSaia MD is a plastic surgeon and blogger who also writes at Medical Spa MD.

Reader Comments (3)

This is the truth that's long been in need of being told. Thank you for sharing your experience with us Dr. Saia. Most hospital administrators that I know really feel like they could manipulate the doctors with their demands.

Typical, and sad. Once again we have "deals" that work in favor of hospital administration without regard or respect for a physician. This dinosaur management mentality is part of the problem in healthcare.

May 31 | Unregistered CommenterMark Ackley

The public not interested if a doctor gets screwed?? I agree that may be the prevailing interest. But not too many people cared enough to vote to abolish slavery until a book called Uncle Tom's Cabin. Encourage people to read Morton's Fork, a novel about a doctor who can't take it anymore, this summer in time to influence the November election. Morton's Fork will not disappoint.

Jun 5 | Unregistered CommenterDale Coy

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