Carmel, CA Health Care Reform In Actionby Richard Kuehn on 10/24/12
Many of our elderly clients have to go into the hospital for surgery. As the body ages, for most of us it becomes inevitable for one reason or another. I was surprised to read the headline Need surgery? You may need to get healthy first. The article said that some doctors are insisting their patients make lifestyle changes prior to surgery which will not only make them healthier, but will also result in a higher likely survival rate from the surgery. The article interviewed 67-year-old Doug Rice who needed surgery to remove a golf ball size tumor in his lung. However, before his Doctor would sign off on the surgery, he forced him to quit smoking. It took him less than 3 weeks and he was able to not only kick this terrible habit, but have a successful surgery. Although it would be nice to think that doctors are looking out for us more, I think this is a direct result of new health care reform laws which are penalizing hospitals for poor care and high readmission rates. Clearly, if this man would have kept smoking after the surgery, he would have a higher chance of being readmitted to the hospital which would have cost the facility money. Although there are good and bad aspects to the new health care reform law, in this case, the government appears to be forcing the hospital staff to do the right thing.