Those who would have us believe Peninsula Regional Medical Center’s current problems are due to Obamacare are trying to deflect our attention from the real culprits: the current and former PRMC executives who created this mess by continually expanding inpatient capacity while ignoring the changes that were taking place in health care.
Members of the hospital board who allowed themselves to be fooled by fancy Powerpoint presentations must share the blame.
It’s not as though they didn’t have other hospitals which might have served as models. Western Maryland Health Systems in Cumberland, which serves a population similar to ours and operates under the same cost constraints, is thriving because its leaders had the foresight to anticipate the direction health care was moving.
Rather than constructing a grander and grander building at exorbitant cost to the community, Western Maryland has “taken services outside its walls,” according to Eduardo Porter in The New York Times on Aug. 27. In the last three years, it has opened a diabetes clinic, a wound center and a behavioral health center, all at pre-existing remote locations around the area. It also provides in-home follow-up care for older and sicker patients, so there have been fewer re-admissions due to complications.
The result of this forward thinking has been a $15 million profit for the fiscal year which ended in June.
What a contrast to our local hospital. Despite more and more highly paid administrators and planners — CEO, CFO, COO and vice presidents for planning, human resources, facilities management and more — these leaders keep feeding their egos and purses by continually expanding PRMC’s downtown palace. It reminds me of Nero fiddling while Rome burned.
Now the community must pay. As a former employee of 27 years, it makes me sick.