What does it say about us as a nation where patients waiting in an emergency room or lying in (or near) recovery rooms after surgery can be confronted by a special "relative" or friend at their bedside? It's your friendly medical debt collector, holding an invoice.
There are innovative solutions already at work in communities across the country. There are very smart clinicians, hospital administrators, policy-makers, business executives, and community leaders who are fighting to rescue the system.
A new study shows that in a hospital setting, nocturnal noises can slow down the healing process. Ironic, isn't it? The place where people go to heal may actually be set up to slow the healing process.
The Illinois and North Carolina examples should serve as a lesson to the rest of the country about what happens when hospitals financial interests are allowed to dictate decisions about health-care for the poor.
The National Nurses Union and California Nurses Association, a founding affiliate, have called for RN-to-Patient staffing ratios, which would help ensure a set number of qualified nurses proportionate to the patient population.