Saturday, December 5, 2015

Quantum Tinkle

Rosemary O'Hara
Editorial Page Editor
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Purveyor of Gilded Bullshit
    Local journalists are supposed to know what they're writing about.
   However, there's always the unpleasant matter of reality.
   Coupled with a bad dose of stupid-fueled hubris.
   Take the lead column on the editorial page of a recent Sun-Sentinel by Rosemary O'Hara, editor of the editorial page herself.
    In her column, O'Hara word-tinkles all over "Linda Quick, who is retiring as president of the South Florida Hospital and Healthcare Association."
   Now, it would have been pretty -- context-wise -- if O'Hara had told her readers how departing Quick's salary had been paid for by the Association's membership in her capacity as as a lobbyist for most of the hospitals and nursing homes in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties.
   However, O'Hara ignored that bit of Quick's duties and loyalties by fluffing, "throughout her 33 years as a health care champion in South Florida, Linda Quick has been a woman of courage."
    Not that it doesn't take chutzpah to serve as health care lobbyist during more than three decades of skyrocketing hospital costs.
     Oh yes.
     O'Hara also invites Quick to tinkle all over herself by allowing her to boast:
     "As I risk taker, I may have put the Association out on a limb or two and even said some unwelcome things."
      To which O'Hara adds, "Quick has twisted arms and ruffled feathers in championing the cause of accessible and quality health care."
     So it's been a long-standing rule of thumb in newspapers to flavor retirement stories and obituaries with a heavy dose of bullshit.
      Which O'Hara certainly does in her editorial page eulogy for Quick.
      However, regarding Quick's role as a "woman of courage," O'Hara fails to mention how  Quick killed a controversial RAND study of indigent hospital care in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties... which, by the way, Quick's Association had commissioned and financed.
     And as for Quick's impact on South Florida's skyrocketing hospital costs -- and profits:
                                         Broward County Hospitals
                                ($ per adjusted admission) 
                                     1990                 2014
Broward General
Charges                              $9,493                  $39,060
Profit                                   $12                         $325
Coral Springs      
Charges                              $8,440                  $25,076
Profit                                   $746                       
Imperial Point
Charges                              $9,175                   $23,260
Profit                                   $45                         $96
North Broward
Charges                              $9,984                   $41,720
Profit                                 ($893)                     $372
Memorial Miramar   NA                    
Charges                                                               $41,248
Profit                                                                    $2,117
Memorial Pembroke NA
Charges                                                               $54,989
Profit                                                                  ($518)
Memorial Regional
Charges                                $8,480                  $62,741
Profit                                     $468                      $268
Memorial West          NA                    
Charges                                                                $54,600
Profit                                                                     $2,267
Cleveland Clinic        NA
Charges                                                                 $51,250
Profit                                                                      $4,171
Cypress                                                   Closed
Charges                            $10,026
Profit                                 $87
Hollywood Medical                              Closed               
Charges                            $11,421
Profit                                 $8
Holy Cross
Charges                              $10,348                    $46,866
Profit                                   ($45)                         $625
Humana South                                      Closed
Charges                               $10,449
Profit                                    $5
Doctors                                                     Closed  
Charges                               $9,376
Profit                                    $328
Florida Medical                                        NA 
Charges                               $14,039
Profit                                    $181
North Beach                                             Closed
Charges                                $15,054
Profit                                     $871                                  
Charges                                $11,241                        $68,917
Profit                                     $327                             $690
North Ridge                                                Closed
Charges                                 $15,630
Profit                                      $257
Pembroke Pines                                        Public  
Charges                                 $8,573
Profit                                      $308
Charges                                  $9,124                         $62,971
Profit                                       $340                            $264
Universal                                                      Closed
Charges                                  $9,190
Profit                                      ($751)
Charges                                  $10,802                       $48,984
Profit                                       $238                             $436
Charges                                  $9,461                           $70,815
Profit                                        $226                              $1,552
 Source - Agency for Health Care Administration
Bottom line?
Quick was doing her job as a health care lobbyist.
But as a journalist, the Sun-Sentinel's O'Hara wasn't.
                                                                                  John deGroot

No comments:

Post a Comment