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False positive: private profit in Canada's health care: “There should be a law”: One Patient Pays $ 13,245.85 in Drug Dispensing Fees

I work in an addiction treatment clinic. Some days I think there is little that would shock me, but then there is always the pharmacy industry.

Recently we had a patient transfer to our clinic. Unlike most of our patients he was a “private pay” patient with insurance. Also, unlike most of our patients he . . . → Read More: False positive: private profit in Canada’s health care: “There should be a law”: One Patient Pays $ 13,245.85 in Drug Dispensing Fees

False positive: private profit in Canada's health care: Laboratory Services Expanded in Huntsville and Bracebridge Hospitals: Point of Care Testing Fails to Meet Expectations

Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare (MAHC) has restored a regular night shift in its medical laboratories at the Huntsville and Bracebridge hospitals. This is a victory for viable community hospitals. It is also another example of the chaos caused by the government’s artificial prohibition on hospital labs performing medical laboratory work for community patients, for example, patients . . . → Read More: False positive: private profit in Canada’s health care: Laboratory Services Expanded in Huntsville and Bracebridge Hospitals: Point of Care Testing Fails to Meet Expectations

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: Will That Be Raspberries With Your Rectal?

The changing face of primary care is on special at Loblaws’. Primacy, a for-profit chain of primary care clinics, has 112 outlets in Loblaw Stores. Most Loblaws’ also have in-store pharmacies. The synergies are obvious. Primacy’s web site says, “an on-site pharmacy provides expert advice and services to our patients.” A recently signed preferred pharmacy . . . → Read More: False positive: private profit in Canada’s health care: Will That Be Raspberries With Your Rectal?

False positive: private profit in Canada's health care: Privatising Preventive Care – the For-Profit Flu Fight

Flu season is upon us, and it seems that the for-profit-health-care bug is infecting primary and preventative care. The yearly campaign to increase the number people vaccinated against the flu is coordinated by the public sector though the Ministry of Health and Public Health Units. After that it gets a bit murky.

Large multinational pharmaceutical . . . → Read More: False positive: private profit in Canada’s health care: Privatising Preventive Care – the For-Profit Flu Fight

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: Health Facility License Auction Health Cost Driver

It seems so obvious in hindsight: if you want to know what is going on in business-side of community medicine look where doctors look – the classified section of The Medical Post.

After reading all of the articles, during a slow day at work, a big flashy classified ad for MCI: the Doctors Office caught . . . → Read More: False positive: private profit in Canada’s health care: Health Facility License Auction Health Cost Driver

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: Quality Problems Plague Britain’s Largest Privatized Laboratory

The Guardian newspaper reported a decline in quality at the Kings College Hospital trust and the St. Thomas Hospital trust’s recently privatized pathology services.

The report cited in the article found an increase in clinical ”incidents” in the first year of the for-profit laboratories operations, and failure to reach “ agreed targets for the “turnaround . . . → Read More: False positive: private profit in Canada’s health care: Quality Problems Plague Britain’s Largest Privatized Laboratory

False positive: private profit in Canada's health care: The Risks of For-Profit Community Care

With the sale of the Shouldice Clinic to a health care conglomerate it is useful to review some of the literature comparing for-profit hospitals to non-profit hospitals. The results show that:

1) there is a higher risk of death in for-profit hospitals, http://www.cmaj.ca/content/166/11/1399.full :

2) private for-profit hospitals result in higher payments for care than . . . → Read More: False positive: private profit in Canada’s health care: The Risks of For-Profit Community 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: GlaxoSmithKline Sets Record with 3 Billion Dollar Fine

And the list goes on. It is no secret that many for-profit health companies in the United States are regularly fined for various forms of fraud, usually cheating Medicare or Medicaid, or jeopardizing patients’ health, or both. This is the second big one I have read about this week, the other being cardiac surgeons working . . . → Read More: False positive: private profit in Canada’s health care: GlaxoSmithKline Sets Record with 3 Billion Dollar Fine

False positive: private profit in Canada's health care: Public Pay Public Benefits

The new graphic beside this post features logos from five corporations delivering essential medical services in Canada. The represent the reality of a broad range of for-profit companies benefiting from public payment for health services:the new focus of this blog.

For the last year I have written on for-profit delivery in Canada’s medical laboratory services. . . . → Read More: False positive: private profit in Canada’s health care: Public Pay Public Benefits

False positive: private profit in Canada's health care: Are OHIP Fees to High? – Part 1

Ontario’s recent decisions to cut fees for doctors’ services and move more services from hospitals to community facilities, called independent health facilities (IHF), raise numerous questions about doctors incomes, fee-for-service payment and for-profit clinics.

The Ontario government is arguing that they need to cut many fees because technology has changed making it less costly for . . . → Read More: False positive: private profit in Canada’s health care: Are OHIP Fees to High? – Part 1

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