Why Isn't There Money to Expand Hospitals?

The newspapers around here lately have reported on Temecula City Councilman, Mike Naggar, and his new hospital task force to assess the prob...

The newspapers around here lately have reported on Temecula City Councilman, Mike Naggar, and his new hospital task force to assess the problem of inadequate hospital beds.

The Press Enterprise has a lengthy article that goes into details of the problem...
http://www.pe.com/....Local_D_shospital28.3fbdfac.html

What this article and other articles I've read don't explain is why these hospitals don't have the money.

In other words, they describe a situation where the demand for hospital care is so high in this region, and the supply of available hospital care is so low, that the basic principles of Supply vs Demand is supposed to remedy this.

Look at it this way. If you ran an auto repair shop, and your shop was the only one of its kind serving 200,000 people, you'd have a ton of business. People would have to wait for months to get their cars serviced. That business would generate profits, and those profits will pay for expansion.

So, WHERE are the profits?

If Menifee Valley Medical Center is so busy handling patients, that new patients have to wait 8 hours to be seen, then it's obvious that business is doing extremely well for Valley Health System.

Granted, this area is frought with illegal aliens, seniors on fixed incomes, and low income wage earners, that's a real challenge for the hospital's accounts receivables. However, we do have Medicaid and Medicare to pay for these patients. California already provides a state-funded health insurance program for patients who "fall between the cracks" (my wife is on it), and States do provide indigent care funds that reimburse hospitals experiencing a disproportionate share of bad debt.

The money is there and the business is there.

I question if Valley Health System is not running a tight ship. My suspicion is that there is too much waste taking place. Wasted supplies, wasted time, staff working inefficiently. Have you ever laid in hospital bed wondering why it takes 5 hours to get discharged? I question if its billing & collections staff isn't working hard enough and creatively enough to reduce their accounts receivables.

I'd like to hear your comments.

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