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False positive: private profit in Canada's health care: Ontario Budget Debate Ignores Taxes and Billions Transferred to For-Profit Corporations

Ontario’s budget debate may be high profile, but it misses two essential points.

With the NDP signaling NO TAX INCREASES (on the middle class) a serious discussion about taxes, particularly the need to increase corporate and wealth taxes, will not take place. It is hard to have any serious budget discussion without considering the income . . . → Read More: False positive: private profit in Canada’s health care: Ontario Budget Debate Ignores Taxes and Billions Transferred to For-Profit Corporations

False positive: private profit in Canada's health care: Edmonton’s Medical Laboratory Proposal: A Private Insanity

I wrote the following post as an op-ed in the Edmonton Journal, October30, 2013. I hope it plays a part in halting the privatization of Edmonton’s medical laboratories.

The Alberta government is proposing to give the private sector a 15-year contract to run medical laboratory services in Edmonton. This policy meets the popular definition of . . . → Read More: False positive: private profit in Canada’s health care: Edmonton’s Medical Laboratory Proposal: A Private Insanity

False positive: private profit in Canada's health care: Private Hospitals in Specialty Clinic Clothing

The provincial government’s mid-summer announcement that regulations under the Independent Health Facilities (IHF) Act will be drafted to permit “specialty clinics” raises some serious concerns. Changes in the LHINS enabling legislation will also be required. While the details are sparse the government’s stated goal is to permit the LHINs, Ontario’s regional health authorities, and Cancer . . . → Read More: False positive: private profit in Canada’s health care: Private Hospitals in Specialty Clinic Clothing

False positive: private profit in Canada's health care: Fragmentation, Private Profit and Home Phlebotomy

Every day there are stories of how the fragmentation of health care hurts patients. A few, when a patient dies, make the media. Most often fragmentation causes small inconveniences, but there are many and they affect patients in very real ways.

December 19th’s story is about a patient with a serious chronic illness. She lives . . . → Read More: False positive: private profit in Canada’s health care: Fragmentation, Private Profit and Home Phlebotomy

False positive: private profit in Canada's health care: Quality Program Fee Increases and IHF Corporate Concentration

This year Independent Health Facilities (IHFs) in Ontario will start paying an annual administrative fee to cover the costs of their quality control program plus a new fee for the direct costs of each quality assessment. Prior to June 2012 the Ministry of Health had paid the College of Physicians and Surgeons out of Ministry . . . → Read More: False positive: private profit in Canada’s health care: Quality Program Fee Increases and IHF Corporate Concentration

False positive: private profit in Canada's health care: Canada Health Act used in Zombie Defence of For-Profit Health Care

Andrew Duffy, in an article syndicated by Postmedia, made the logical equivalent of mixing metaphors when he used the Canada Health Act (CHA) to legitimize the use of private clinics. The result, as with mixed metaphors, is a “head-scratching” argument in favour of Centric’s takeover of the Shouldice Clinic.

Duffy uses a confidential government manual . . . → Read More: False positive: private profit in Canada’s health care: Canada Health Act used in Zombie Defence of For-Profit Health Care

False positive: private profit in Canada's health care: Monitoring Benefits For-Profit Health Care

A new study by the Health Care Compliance Association (HCCA) in the United States found that non-profit health care institutions are audited by Medicare more often than their for-profit counterparts: 6 times per year compared to 4 for the for-profit facilities. 47% of non-profits were also audited by more than one government agency compared to . . . → Read More: False positive: private profit in Canada’s health care: Monitoring Benefits For-Profit Health Care

False positive: private profit in Canada's health care: Methadone Clinic Limits Doctor’s Employment

One of Ontario’s little known private secrets is that most methadone, a staple of opiate addiction treatment, is primarily provided by for-profit clinics. Last week a doctor who works in one of these private clinics casually told me that her contract with the clinic forbade her from working for another methadone provider.

The context for . . . → Read More: False positive: private profit in Canada’s health care: Methadone Clinic Limits Doctor’s Employment

False positive: private profit in Canada's health care: More Local Lab Service Cuts

It seems that the government is now using changes in the OHIP fee schedule give more work to the for-profit laboratory corporations. This reduction in patient access is documented by Rita Marshall in the June 22 edition of the Mitchell Advocate. Mitchell is a town in the Municipality of West Perth near Stratford Ontario.

Don’t . . . → Read More: False positive: private profit in Canada’s health care: More Local Lab Service Cuts

False positive: private profit in Canada's health care: Independent Health Facilities and For-Profit Delivery: Reassuring Words, Troubling Results

Who said these words and when?

We have three broad objectives: to develop a more community-based health care system to ensure that patients receive quality medical care as close to home as possible; that the procedures are carried out in a safe, effective manner; and to regulate facilities so that they are appropriately located and . . . → Read More: False positive: private profit in Canada’s health care: Independent Health Facilities and For-Profit Delivery: Reassuring Words, Troubling Results

False positive: private profit in Canada's health care: Government Incentives Build Empires

The American Medical News reports that Fitch, a global investment rating service, found that incentives paid to hospitals for adoption of electronic health records (EHR) went to increased profits. Fitch also concluded that:

“…the hospital companies analyzed in the report are not expected to use their positive cash flow to reduce debt. They are expecting . . . → Read More: False positive: private profit in Canada’s health care: Government Incentives Build Empires

False positive: private profit in Canada's health care: Medical Journal Kills For-Profit Lab Debate

I was surprised when the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) asked me to write an analysis piece on Canada’s medical laboratories. My book, False Positive, clearly lays out my position that for-profit labs have no place in our health care system, which is at odds with the close, and profitable, relationship between the labs and . . . → Read More: False positive: private profit in Canada’s health care: Medical Journal Kills For-Profit Lab Debate

False positive: private profit in Canada's health care: Legal Abstractions and For-Profit Delivery

The categories we use to make sense of the world structure how we act.

In his April 17th column Andre Picard, the health reporter for Toronto’s Globe and Mail newspaper, repeated one the most misleading justifications for more for-profit health care: most of the system is already private. After all, as Picard points out, many . . . → Read More: False positive: private profit in Canada’s health care: Legal Abstractions and For-Profit Delivery

False positive: private profit in Canada's health care: Health Integration: Not in Ontario

I am sure there is a plan to improve health care. There must be: Ontario’s recent budget says it wants to improve integration, control costs and increase access. Yet Ontario’s provincial budget just does not do it.

The section heading says “Providing the right care, at the right time, in the right place”. Praise worthy . . . → Read More: False positive: private profit in Canada’s health care: Health Integration: Not in Ontario

False positive: private profit in Canada's health care: Drummond and For-Profit Health Care

Considering the 1,500 dollars a day Don Drummond was paid and the research staff at his disposal you would figure that his analysis would be more subtle and better informed.

It is not news that Don Drummond supports for-profit health care but his rationale is shockingly simplistic. The following is the key paragraph from his . . . → Read More: False positive: private profit in Canada’s health care: Drummond and For-Profit Health Care