Friday, November 4, 2016

Hospital System allegedly tries to force possible patients to give up right to sue or they will be charged more for services; and residents may be forced to work longer hours

NPR is reporting today that San Francisco area companies are complaining that Sutter Health is strong-arming them into a contract that would help the hospital system secure its power over prices and potentially raise the cost of medical care for their employees in the future. The report says taht dozens of companies have received a letter asking them to waive their rights to sue Sutter. If they don't, the companies' employees who get care through Sutter's network of hospitals, doctors and medical services will no longer have access to discounted in-network prices.

Meanwhile, in a separate story, the group that sets the rules for medical residents has proposed changing the rule that says that interns, doctors in their first year of on-the-job training after finishing medical school, can work no more than 16 hours without a break.  This rule was adopted many years ago to minimize the chances the rookie doctors would make mistakes while fatigued.  The new proposed rule would let these new doctors work for as many as 28 hours at a stretch.

What do you think would be the cumulative effect of these two events? 

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