Healthcare Insanity – get big, cut costs, and provide less expensive better care to the patients of East Jefferson Parish. At least in the old days when State Senator Dudley J. marketed Hadacol as Hadacol to the Rescue of East Jefferson Hospitala cure for what ailed us, it had a12% alcohol content! The Snake Oil our Jefferson Parish politics is trying to sell us has no alcohol and just like Hadacol, no short or long-term benefits.
The Back Room Dealing
The deal to lease East Jefferson Hospital reeks of political back room dealing. There was no doubt in political circles that voters would soundly reject the sale of East Jefferson Hospital. In a clever slight of hand, rather than selling the hospital, our “devoted” public servants came up with an alternative, lease it! No vote required, no voter input, done deal!
Experts from Johns Hopkins Center for Hospital Finance and Management are candid when they say, “Consolidation really doesn’t lower costs.” Do we really think that Children’s Hospital or Ochsner Hospital can actually operate at a lower cost that East Jefferson Hospital? Of course not, that ridiculous! Will they have greater negotiating power than a combined East/West Jefferson Hospitals – of course not.
If indeed it is about consolidation, why don’t we merely combine East Jefferson & West Jefferson Hospitals? The answer is fairly simple – the West Bank politicians want to control theirs and the East Bank politicians want theirs. Does it sound like two bullies fighting over their territories without consideration to those actually impacted (us)? You bet it does!
What Can Be Done?
The answer is simple –
- Consolidate the two hospitals (East & West Jefferson),
- Bring in professional management (remember the Chairman of East Jefferson Hospital is Sheriff Newell Normand)
- Develop a Zero-Based Budget (require every cost to be justified)
- Cut out all the “Professional Contracts” that drain healthcare funds that could be used elsewhere in the hospital
- Create an open/transparent online budget for the hospitals that is easily accessible to the voters of Jefferson Parish
When will we finally say enough? If you think the leasing of East Jefferson Hospital will not have a long-term negative impact on healthcare services to you and your family, you are sorely mistaken. Contact your Jefferson Parish Council and demand answers. Your access to healthcare depends on it!