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 ...

Political Eh-conomy: Aristotle contra the math stick: Magic numbers redux

In the last post I explored how magic numbers, such as a 90% debt-to-GDP ratio or a 2% inflation target, at once over-simplify and stifle economic policy debate. The role of magic numbers raises more general questions about “the rule of number” in economics. The math stick used to browbeat those who enter economic policy debates ...

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 ...

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 times” for ...

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 ...

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 only ...

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 ...

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 ...