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Rebecca Jones, MD Responds to NYTimes article on Hospital Rankings

by Rebecca Jones MD

I am a physician. Someone asked me recently why the medical system is for profit, since the conflict of interest is so obvious. I replied “because it can be.”

Here is the original article link: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/28/sunday-review/the-hype-over-hospital-rankings.html?emc=eta1&_r=0

Until there is pushback, this is the behavior we will see. The problem, of course, is that medicine is complicated, and “consumers” of medicine are desperate. You know what isn’t complicated? Health. (It may not be easy these days–but it isn’t complicated). Imagine if we had a real HEALTHCARE system, where the quality measure wasn’t how well a hospital treated your breast cancer, but how well the government regulated industry to keep endocrine disruptors out of the food and water supplies. Or, how affordable healthy food was, to allow people to control obesity (associated with breast cancer). Doctors and hospitals cannot do the regulating ourselves, but we could be a louder voice demanding such regulation. After all, our income is supposed to be based on the trust patients have in us. A good way to earn that trust is to act more like advocates.

View of the Gonda building at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. (Photo by Dede Cuumings for The VT Greenprint for Health.)

View of the Gonda building at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. (Photo by Dede Cummings for The VT Greenprint for Health.)

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