University of Chicago to shutter wome...

University of Chicago to shutter women's clinic

There are 105 comments on the Chicago Tribune story from May 18, 2009, titled University of Chicago to shutter women's clinic. In it, Chicago Tribune reports that:

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.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Chicago Tribune.

Thank you

Saint Paul, MN

#25 May 19, 2009
for speaking the truth and saying it with such accuracy.
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.

Lafayette, IN

#26 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.
That would go a long to explaining why Michelle Obama got 300K a year from them for a do-nothing job.

Washington, DC

#28 May 19, 2009
This is not a good trend.

Chicago, IL

#29 May 19, 2009
Davey wrote:
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.
The UofC is directly adjacent to one of the most affluent neighborhoods in the city...Hyde Park and Kenwood. But, yes, just outside of those neighborhoods are some lower income areas. This is similar to the rest of the city--affluence residing right next to low income. Low income and uninsured and unemployed people live everywhere now.
Bob - Wheeling

Chicago, IL

#30 May 19, 2009
There has to be rules and regulations around how much non-profit hospitals are required in terms of charity work.

This is getting out of control.

Oak Forest, IL

#31 May 19, 2009
Send'em all over the Obama's, they have the room!
Whats the status

Chicago, IL

#32 May 19, 2009
Bob - Wheeling wrote:
There has to be rules and regulations around how much non-profit hospitals are required in terms of charity work.
This is getting out of control.
What people don't understand is that Medicaid payments do not cover the total cost of the procedure. Hospitals lose money when they treat patients on medicaid. You might ask why do they do this? Because they lose more money if the beds stay open and the staff doesn't treat people.

Its pretty simple, the hospital only has so much money and they need to maximize what they can provide.....
Eric J Ice Gipson

Chicago, IL

#33 May 19, 2009
dave4118 wrote:
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
Therein lies the problem, given the numerous internal e-mails bullet pointing what some people here have repeated, verbatim I might add, one would think that at least one of the e-mails would give a listing of the non-emergency clinics to help spread the word. Instead, I have e-mail after e-mail espousing all the wonderful things UCMC does and how costly it is for people to use the ER for their medical treatment. But I have yet to see an e-mail that explains the next time my son has a 105 degree temperature on a Sunday morning where I should go, because Friend Family Health Center is closed on Sundays. I have yet to see an e-mail explaining who is going to accept our UCHP insurance if we do use an outside clinic. I have yet to see it explained how if we do use an outside clinic how that information is going to make its way back into EPIC since the Southside Collaborative seems to be using something else (Centricity?) and UCMC/EPIC wont extend the license/usage to these organizations.

To this day I have yet to have it explained to me why I need to become a pseudo-doctor, why I have to make a self-diagnosis or diagnose my son. I don't know if I have a strain, sprain, or a break. I don't know if I have a headache, migraine, or tumor. What I do know is that if I am feeling so bad that I actually WANT to see a doctor then I want to be seen at that time. Seriously, how many people LIKE going to the doctor or to the hospital?

If you know that x number of people per year use the ER as their primary care how have you not budgeted for that? Where is our internal and external marketing detailing the clinics that the Medical Centers throughout Chicagoland want us to use? As a matter of fact where is the marketing for UCMC at all? I have barely even seen a Huron ad. In terms of PR, I think Dr. Whitaker had by far the best piece I have read and if I run into him at Mr. Hunters barbershop I will tell him so, but even in that piece, it did nothing to address my questions and concerns, which to me, suggests that this entire plan has yet to be fully developed and that gives me even more pause. If you cannot convince your own people that this is the right way, going forward, how will you convince the public?
Billy Joe

Key Largo, FL

#34 May 19, 2009
dave4118 wrote:
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.
When you have 50 million people w/o health insurance....and the ER is the only place that MUST TREAT.....what do you think the outcome is going to be?

Grayslake, IL

#35 May 19, 2009
I guess the media won't be happy until U of C Hospital closes, as have Michael Reese, Hyde Park, St. Francis (Blue Island) and some other Hospitals that serve the poor and got strangled by the too-low, too-late medicaid reimbursements.

Why don't you publish numbers on how many poor are treated at Highland Park Hospital, Hinsdale Hospital, Evanston Hospital, Lutheran General, Northwestern, and other wealthy hospitals?

Golf, IL

#36 May 19, 2009
I believe all people deserve a reasonable amount of adequate healthcare to prevent and treat common problems. Above that, if you want more than baseline care, you need to get and hold down a job that offers health insurance, or make your own money and buy your own health insurance, or save 5% of your salary your entire life and put it into an account which you can draw on when you need healthcare. I donít want to sound cruel, but why do people who arenít working, donít want to work, or have no motivation believe they deserve the highest level care? That is ludicrous. Who is going to pay for it?

Listen, either we live in a place that has universal, good quality healthcare, or we live in a capitalistic system like ours, where you pay as you go, with limited government assistance to those who canít afford it. Iím all for universal healthcare for American citizens Ė in the end I think everyone would end up with cheaper and better careÖ but the fact is we donít have such a system. You canít blame U of C for doing what it needs to do to keep solvent, pay doctors the salary that the market demands in order to attract top talent, and so forth.

Sometimes I wonder why I work as much as I do, when I could just do nothing and live on everyone elseís dime. There needs to be some reasonable relationship between what a patient pays in, and the care they receive under our current system.

United States

#37 May 19, 2009
When I was a college student, U of C refused to remove cancerous tissue because I did not have health insurance. When asked if I could be put on a payment plan, I was still refused treatment. Hence, U of C does not care about the poor or people willing to pay over time. I was eventually able to get treatment from Loyola, who put me on a payment plan.

United States

#38 May 19, 2009
In that photo, is she offering the patient cereal OUT OF HER HAND? WTH?

Chicago, IL

#39 May 19, 2009
What does the photo from Park Lawn in Oak Lawn have to do with U of C?

United States

#40 May 19, 2009
Come on, nationalized health care, we need you!

All of us insurance-holding folks are already paying for the non-insured through our insanely high medical bills. Even with my insurance, I paid over $2000 out of pocket last year.

The more people paying into national health care, the lower the cost of it for everyone.

Lombard, IL

#42 May 19, 2009
Getting something for nothing is not sustainable.

Chicago, IL

#43 May 19, 2009
They can start by getting rid of the unions there. I wish I could be sent home WITH pay when we don't have enough work!

If they don't want to treat the poor, remove the tax credit.

See how fast they will change course.

Northbrook, IL

#45 May 19, 2009
I think the suspicion regarding anything run by the U of C comes from their long history of disenfranchising the local community. Look at some of the historical research conducted by the Woodlawn Organization and other non-profit community groups. The point of the article is that in exchange for massive tax breaks and other perks from the government, they are supposed to provide a modicum of care to the poor which they are not doing. Just because they did it in the past, does not excuse them from doing it in the future. BTW, I was a U of C student who was also denied services for not having filled out some paperwork I didn't know existed. Imagine. None of this would be a problem if we had universal health care.

Chicago, IL

#46 May 19, 2009
Eric J Ice Gipson wrote:
If you know that x number of people per year use the ER as their primary care how have you not budgeted for that?
If you know that a PPO will give you more options, in and out of network, than UCHP, for the level of care you demand for your family, how have you not budgeted for that?

Lancaster, PA

#47 May 19, 2009
zate was crazy men

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