Sen. Barack Obama’s wife and three close advisers have been involved with a program at the University of Chicago Medical Center that steers patients who don’t have private insurance — primarily poor, black people — to other health care facilities.
Poor people used to show up with garden-variety ailments and take up space that the hospital wanted to reserve for well-insured patients in need of high-margin procedures:
In the past, we opened our doors and saw whoever came … We would see a patient who had general pneumonia, and if we needed to see a patient who needed a liver transplant, that liver transplant patient couldn’t get in the door.
So, now the poor patients are dumped on “neighborhood clinics.” But, hey, its for their own good:
The patients get seen sooner and at less expense at neighborhood clinics and other hospitals. U. of C. even offers them a ride on a shuttle bus to other centers and sometimes provides the doctors at those facilities.
Now that’s “change” a hospital finance type “can believe in.”