University of Chicago to shutter women's clinic

Full story: Chicago Tribune

Every year, a storefront clinic operated on the South Side by the University of Chicago Medical Center cares for thousands of women on public aid, many of whom have serious conditions and few options.

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UCMC HR Guy

United States

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#1
May 18, 2009
 
Hey Tribune,

Would you mind sending me a heads-up when you do stories on Northwestern, Rush, and Loyola cutting services to uninsured patients. Wait, you will do negative stories on them too, right? Right? Or will you rationalize their cuts (oh yes, it'll happen) by blaming the economy rather than UC's sole motivation in life--- greed (so you say).

Keep it up Trib--- we know you need the sensational headlines to keep the lights on.

“Freedom is not Free”

Since: Nov 08

Berwyn, IL

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#3
May 18, 2009
 
Its all about the money. Even if the big sum comes from the taxpayers of the state.
Phizz

United States

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#4
May 18, 2009
 
The U of C Hospitals and the University itself are hardly anything more than massive criminal organizations designed to generate buckets and buckets of cash. This is obvious. We need serious investigation into these corrupt outfits so that we can use the court system to prosecute the perps and shut down their operations. Chicago and the world would be better off without them.
DontGoInAlone

Hoffman Estates, IL

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#5
May 18, 2009
 
Part of the problems we have with skyrocketing health care costs in this country is we are the most prolific consumers of health care in the world. We are at the doctor or ER for any little thing - I've seen and paid the claims.

It would behoove the powers that be that instead of a single-payor system we fix the one we've got. We need a viable alternative to the ER for those who don't have a regular physician.

We all know that medical problems don't always present themselves during normal working hours. By opening more intermediate and urgent care centers affiliated with the major hospitals in the areas they serve it would take a lot of pressure off the local ER. As these centers are less costly to run and their fees are generally affordable, even for those without insurance, it would do a lot to begin reducing or checking the the constant inflation of medical costs.

The next thing needed is to hold the federal and state governments to a reimbursement system that does not let them hold back payments. They don't ever shortchange themselves. I know, that comes with fiscal management which most of our politicians seem to have never learned. Americans need to educate themselves and realize there is not a pill or procedure to cure everything. You do not have to run to the doctor for every little thing.

It's time we as voters demand these types of reforms before we let our government run roughshod over us with a system we will never, ever be able to afford due to the way we consume these services. And don't hold MA up as a great example of health insurance for all - their initial cost projections were so far off they have no real idea of the cost. It keeps changing on a daily basis. Not to mention the people who are forced to choose health insurance or rent.
sympathy for the devil

Chicago, IL

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#7
May 19, 2009
 
Univ of Chicago provides THREE TIMES the care to Medicaid patients and enrolls thousands of uninsured patients into the health care "system" so that they can get consistent care from a local provider rather than use the overcrowded ER. Even this biased article which tries, like many Trib pieces over the past few months, to paint U of C as the devil, quotes that U of C loses over $10 million per year on indigent care OVER AND ABOVE what it receives in tax breaks as a non-profit. How much money must U of C lose on indigent care before the Trib will stop demonizing it?$20 million a year?$50 million?$100M? How many indigent, non-urgent patients should it see in the ER? 80,000 per year? 100,000? 200,000? Will somebody please define that for me? They are already seeing TWICE as many ER patients as they were even 4 or 5 years ago because of so many hospital closures on the South side and the failure of Provident and others to get their acts together. It seems to me that lately anything U of C tries to do to adjust to the economy is automatically viewed with suspicion - c'mon, now; that's ludicrous. Northwestern, Rush, and even all the cushy suburban hospitals like Evanston are also "non-profit" and receive the same tax breaks, yet provide far far less care to Medicaid populations. Why is U of C the villain here, aside from the fact that because it's a big institution it's an easy target?
Lilac time

United States

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#8
May 19, 2009
 
I can't help but wonder if reporter Jason Grotto was once denied admission to U of C Medical School, and carries a grudge. Why else target this institution??
Pawface

United States

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#9
May 19, 2009
 

Judged:

1

Take away the tax exempt status and presto...we'll see what happens.
No Need

South Holland, IL

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#11
May 19, 2009
 
UCMC HR Guy wrote:
Hey Tribune,
Would you mind sending me a heads-up when you do stories on Northwestern, Rush, and Loyola cutting services to uninsured patients. Wait, you will do negative stories on them too, right? Right? Or will you rationalize their cuts (oh yes, it'll happen) by blaming the economy rather than UC's sole motivation in life--- greed (so you say).
Keep it up Trib--- we know you need the sensational headlines to keep the lights on.
Those hospitals arn't taking medicare money to buy up Real Estate for some bogus Olympic dream. The plan to force the people that have lived there for decades to move while blocking development is WRONG. The U of C made money last year with the help of taxpayers funds, FREE WATER, TAX BREAKS AND FREE CTA BUSES cost us money and these ELITEST which produce such a weak educational plan for the CPS COST US MONEY. So keep it up TRIB at least we got a quarter of the story and thats PAR FOR CHICAGO.
Katie

Chicago, IL

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#12
May 19, 2009
 
Phizz wrote:
The U of C Hospitals and the University itself are hardly anything more than massive criminal organizations designed to generate buckets and buckets of cash. This is obvious. We need serious investigation into these corrupt outfits so that we can use the court system to prosecute the perps and shut down their operations. Chicago and the world would be better off without them.
Oh really? You'd be better off without the 70-odd Nobel Prize winners that came from the UofC? And all of the entrepreneurs, scientists, and world leaders that come out of there? Right.
patrick

Glenview Nas, IL

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#13
May 19, 2009
 
All that money they are raking in and they continue to cut services to the poor. How about an accounting and then we can really see they just want to preserve profits. The toughest economic times and they further cut services to those that need them most. Whats the property values of all the new buildings that have gone up in the last 10 years?

Since: May 09

Chicago, IL

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#14
May 19, 2009
 
About four years, maybe three years ago, the Uof C hospitals started a pilot program(at their own expense). When patients entered the E.R. with obvious non-emergency injuries, an employee, hired and paid by the Uof C. without federal, state or county funds, would doa databased search based on the patients adress and retrieve the nearest free clinics and/or doctors offices so that IN THE FUTURE the patient could be aware of these alternate locations. The patient was treated at the hospital for the original injury, THEY WERE NOT TURNED AWAY.The patient was made aware that say.. a broken finger would cost 1000 dollars to treat at the E,R., but that same broken finger would cost 100 to treat at clinic. The Uof C was trying to slowly educate the public on the most convenient and efficient use of the limited public resources
Katie

Chicago, IL

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#15
May 19, 2009
 
No Need wrote:
<quoted text>Those hospitals arn't taking medicare money to buy up Real Estate for some bogus Olympic dream. The plan to force the people that have lived there for decades to move while blocking development is WRONG. The U of C made money last year with the help of taxpayers funds, FREE WATER, TAX BREAKS AND FREE CTA BUSES cost us money and these ELITEST which produce such a weak educational plan for the CPS COST US MONEY. So keep it up TRIB at least we got a quarter of the story and thats PAR FOR CHICAGO.
I thought the point was that they WEREN'T getting Medicare money.$75,000 out of $600,000 billed is a pretty bad track record. Also, what free CTA buses? The students pay for the 170, 171, and 172 out of their tuition.

Since: May 09

Chicago, IL

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#17
May 19, 2009
 
The ER is treated as a PRIMARY CARE facility by the poor.It is supposed to be used as an acute care facility....emergencies. The expenses are huge at such a facilty. Using the analogy of the broken finger, one sees that a broken finger would cost 1000 dollars to treat at an ER, but 100 dollars to treat at a clinic or doctor's office. Let's assume that the stgate is reimbursing medicare at 10%. That would mean that to treat that broken finger at an ER, the institution is losing 900dollars, but at the clinic, the loss is 90 dollars. The U of C is trying to use the helath care resources as wisely as possible, for the greater good. It is also trying to educate the patient on the most efficient use of the health care system. One aside, it seems that people think that if they show up in an ambulance, they go right ot the front of line. That isn't the case...triage dictates that the worst cases go first.
Really

Saint Anne, IL

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#18
May 19, 2009
 
Maybe we should just say "Thank You" to the university for providing free services all these years. It is funny that the medical community (doctors, other providers, and hosptial staff) will be taxed higher so the lower classes can be provided for but then they are also expected to provide free services. That is just not right.
Ella

Villa Park, IL

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#19
May 19, 2009
 
Phizz wrote:
The U of C Hospitals and the University itself are hardly anything more than massive criminal organizations designed to generate buckets and buckets of cash. This is obvious. We need serious investigation into these corrupt outfits so that we can use the court system to prosecute the perps and shut down their operations. Chicago and the world would be better off without them.
Obviously you didn't attend U of C, or any college or university for that matter. U of C Hospitals lost some 60 million last year. How is that corrupt? How will they PAY people to work at their facilities??? Oh, you want doctors, nurses, radiology techs, housekeeping, nutritionists, respiratory therapists, and others to work for FREE? Especially after some have gone into deep debt to provide a service? Buzz off!
Ella

Villa Park, IL

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#20
May 19, 2009
 
Really wrote:
Maybe we should just say "Thank You" to the university for providing free services all these years. It is funny that the medical community (doctors, other providers, and hosptial staff) will be taxed higher so the lower classes can be provided for but then they are also expected to provide free services. That is just not right.
Thank you.
Ann

Traverse City, MI

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#21
May 19, 2009
 
Katie wrote:
<quoted text>
I thought the point was that they WEREN'T getting Medicare money.$75,000 out of $600,000 billed is a pretty bad track record. Also, what free CTA buses? The students pay for the 170, 171, and 172 out of their tuition.
When you don't ven gt th facts straight, anything you say is NOT CREDIBLE.

(1) The article mentions MEDICAID - NOT Medicare. They are NOT theee same thing,

Mediciad is health insurance for the poor with kids and SSI recipients.

Medicare is the federal health insurance coverage for which thee enrollees pay premium and copays and deductibles and ONLY covers those over 65 or those who are disabled after having worked and who receive SSD.

Illinois Medicaid does not cover dental. Other states do choose to pay for dental for the poor.

Medicare never has covered dental or vision.
Davey

Chicago, IL

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#22
May 19, 2009
 
I see U of C has the PR flacks in place. It isn't the Trib that's attacking the hospital administration. The hospital's own ER staff has been its worst critic. They are the ones who see the hospital coming perilously close to patient dumping.

The idea of running neighborhood outpatient clinics as alternatives to the ER has merit. The reality is that the hospital is doing nothing to make the plan work. The clinics are underfunded and without xrays or labs, among other flaws. So yeah, the poor patients with the injured ankle could go to the clinic and get bandaged up way cheaper, as long as they don't care whether it's really just a sprain or if there's a broken bone.

U of C has the misfortune of being in a part of the city where well-insured patients are hard to come by. Unlike Northwestern and others, they don't get enough insured patients to offset the costs of treating the uninsured. They are trapped as part of the worst medical system in the developed world. If everyone were covered, their problem would go away. Since that's not the case, they've opted to abandon their ethical responsibilities and concentrate on upscale treatments for the well-resourced who have exotic maladies. In the process they have destroyed what was one of the best ER teaching programs in the country.
Davey

Chicago, IL

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#23
May 19, 2009
 
"Ella" sez <blockquote>Oh, you want doctors, nurses, radiology techs, housekeeping, nutritionists, respiratory therapists, and others to work for FREE?</blockquote>

The ER is run by interns and residents who make less per hour than they'd make as wallmart greeters. The university, like all universities, has been exploiting their cheap labor forever. So it would be very interesting indeed to find out just where all that money does go -- whose salaries does it pay? Not the ones who do the actual work.
sympathy for the devil

Chicago, IL

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#24
May 19, 2009
 
Davey wrote:
Since that's not the case, they've opted to abandon their ethical responsibilities and concentrate on upscale treatments for the well-resourced who have exotic maladies. In the process they have destroyed what was one of the best ER teaching programs in the country.
Davey - geee, that's quite an accusation. Can you help me understand the "ethical responsibilities" that you accuse them of abandoning? Should they lose $20 million,$50M or $100M in order for them to be "ethical"? How many indigent and Medicaid patients should they see to make them "ethical" in your eyes? I don't get it...
By the way, your concerns over the ER training program seem out of left field - is that an ethical responsibility too or are you an ER doc with a vested interest in seeing resources steered your way at the expense of other "non-ethical" aspects of the health care system (medical students, research, other clinical specialties...) Sounds like a agenda to me...

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