Administribbles

Change in the healthcare system seems like a good thing we don’t know yet whether it will be worth it.  Like a new drug on the market we may end up seeing terrible side effects that hurt a lot of unsuspecting people.   A recent article in the USA Today  proves again to me the one major problem going on all around us.  If you are in the healthcare field you see it every day.  What, you ask?  The answer and horrible trend is the ever increasing number of administrators.  They are growing faster than Tribbles (Star Trek reference).  In fact, we should call them Administribbles.  Here is another reference from KevinMD that talks a little more about it.   The summary from the USA Today piece goes as follows:

  • New Hampshire cut Medicaid funding and 5% of its medical workforce cut (nurses and other caregivers) yet they are still hiring administrative workers!
  • Hospitals are creating more jobs in an era of cutbacks.  This year was 95,000 of them and growing.  Health care has created 20% of all new jobs in the country.
  • These new jobs are not driven by patient demand but by law!  This includes the 2010 federal health care law, the 2009 federal stimulus funding, and new government regulations!
  • They are being hired to deal with new technology, new services, new regulations, electronic health records and government reporting requirements on quality.
This should horrify all of us.  These people produce NOTHING.  No doubt a few are helpful but to increase a workforce that produces no revenue and does not directly help the customer (patient) means it is just wasted cost.  This bureaucratic bulge causes undue bureaucratic drag that will just sink us all.   As one typical administrator says in the article:
“We are trying to balance the need to cut costs with the need to grow”.

Grow what?!  You are cutting those of us, doctors and nurses, who actually help people while reproducing yourselves and draining the system.  For those that read this, please send me your experiences on this trend.  I think the you can enlighten a lot of people about what is really going on in healthcare.

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