Tuesday, January 14, 2020

When Hospitals Close

The announcement came as a shock - I was watching local news, a week or so ago, and one of the news stories was that the hospital where I go to for my treatments was closing due to bankruptcy!  All the patients who were currently in the hospital as in-patients were being transferred to other nearby hospitals that could, or would, accept them.  Over 1,000 employees were losing their jobs!  Located in downtown Los Angeles, it is considered the oldest hospital in the city.  But, with over 70% of their patients being low income and on Medicare (federal medical subsidy), which reimburse the hospital at a lower rate than private insurance, the hospital was apparently unable to receive enough income to remain open.  It is where my various cancer screenings and surgeries took place. 

I had been wondering what would happen next.  That is the hospital I've been assigned to, according to the insurance I have.  It is where I had all my screenings and surgeries when I was being treated for cancer.  I knew my insurance will probably make other arrangements, but, that takes time, of course. 

This morning, I had a phone call from the office of my radiation oncologist.  I had an appointment for a follow-up visit in February, but, his office is in a building adjoining the hospital and, apparently, it, too, is closing.  The doctor will see patients at other hospitals, but the one he's moving to is a bit of a distance from me, in a different city.  The office staff person I spoke with was saying that he and the rest of the staff in that office will all have to look for new jobs!  I feel so badly for them.  I used to go to that office for my radiation treatments, five days a week until all 35 treatments were completed.  The staff there were all so caring and considerate!  What happens to the patients who are still receiving daily treatments?  Where do they go? 

After that phone call, I called my oncologist's office.  My appointment on Friday of this week is with his nurse practitioner, for a follow-up visit and my bone density booster injection.  I called to find out if they are closing too, but, they are located in a different building, and they will remain open!  Oh, big sigh of relief!  One of the reasons why I chose to keep my same insurance when I retired was because I wanted to keep the same oncologist!  Unless I receive another phone call telling me otherwise, I will still be able to keep Friday's appointment!  Maybe my oncologist could recommend another radiation oncologist, if needed. 

All I can say is, I am very grateful the hospital didn't close while I was in mid-treatments!  That would have been very stressful to say the least!

27 comments:

  1. I didn’t think hospitals would go bankrupt because of their exorbitant fees. But after reading that this hospital had low income people, I guess it makes sense.
    I hope these patients will be able to find another hospital nearby.

    I’m glad that you are able to keep your oncologist.

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    1. It is very sad when these hospitals close because the segment of the population they tend to serve are the very ones who need their services the most. It seems like a vicious cycle.

      Yes, I am glad I will be able to keep the same oncologist. :)

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  2. It is sad when medical costs (as high as they are) can't cover the cost of treatment and keeping a facility open. Just so sad. We are lucky to have 4 big hospitals here and all seem to be doing well.

    I hope you have a great night. Don't worry- there is a plan being laid out for you-it will just take a bit of time to figure it out. Hugs- Diana

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    1. It really is, Diana. Thank you; I'm trying not to worry. I know it will all work out, eventually. :)

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  3. I'm sure it will work out, somehow. The one constant in life is change. I hope the new place they send you is convenient and comfortable. This is a sad reality about California. It used to be so different.

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    1. Yes, change is definitely the one constant in life! My mother used to say that change was good! I'm a bit of a stick in the mud! I don't like change! But, I'm sure it will all work out, as you say. :)

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  4. Sorry to read this. I think it's sad for all, the patients, the staff and drs. That's a lot of jobs. Praying for all. Hope you will be okay with the rest of your treatments. Blessings, xoxo, Susie

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    1. Thank you, Susie. I feel very sorry for the staff who are losing their jobs. It must be so hard for them!

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  5. What a horror for all the patient and folks receiving out patient treatment there.

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    1. Yes. Especially whose who have scans and surgeries scheduled, etc., as well as others who are receiving on-going treatments. Not to mention all those people who are going to be without a job!

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  6. Sorry to hear this. It must be distressing. It's a shame all those people will lose their jobs or perhaps be transferred to other hospitals. Don't get me started on the costs of medical things in the US lol. I hope you get things sorted.

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    1. Thank you, Sharon. I hope all the staff find other jobs, but, still, they must feel stressed, too! Well, I guess I will find out from my insurance which hospital I will now be reassigned to. I'll take it one step at a time, otherwise, I will feel stressed by it all!

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  7. That must be a horrible position to be in for people receiving treatment and for those who will lose their jobs.
    It must be a relief for you to keep your oncologist. X

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    1. I, too, feel so sorry for those who are currently being treated at this hospital and for all the workers who are suddenly facing unemployment with bills to pay and so forth.

      Yes, it is a big relief to keep my oncologist. But, it is a good reminder to me to have all my medical records up to date, just in case things change yet again and I have to find a new oncologist!

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  8. So sorry to hear this. It's a worrying time for you and so distressing for the people who will lose their jobs or are in the middle of critical treatment.

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    1. It really is more traumatic for those undergoing treatment, currently, I am sure, as well as those who are losing their jobs. I am just grateful that I have finished the majority of my treatments and am at the maintenance stage!

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  9. Sounds like things will be in chaos for a while. What a mess. But as the others have said, it will all work out. But not without a lot of work on everyone's part.

    On a less serious level, sometimes, I think it's good to see a different doctor. A different set of eyes can be good.

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    1. Yes, I am sure that things will work out, eventually. Other hospitals and medical centers will absorb the patients who are currently receiving treatment at this hospital. It maybe that they might have to change insurance, or travel farther and wait longer for appointments, but, they will be attended to. Hopefully, too, the people being laid off will find other employment. It's just that we don't like all this change when it is forced on us!

      But, you are right. Change can be good. That's what my mother used to say. A different doctor, a different set of eyes, a different job, they can all be good. Maybe we will all look back on this and see it as a blessing in disguise; one never knows. :)

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  10. Just reading about this is traumatizing!! Of course it is going to be a major inconvenience for you getting all your 'ducks back into a row,' and for that I am so sorry, but for those now in various stages of treatment, it must be devastating ... not to mention those whose jobs are either lost or in jeopardy! I will certainly throw all positive thoughts and prayers up for all involved.
    (I asked Paige and Whitney about the status quo of the facilities in which they are being treated, and both reassure me that things are secure and seem to be stable for the foreseeable future- selfish thoughts, but I worried.)
    Do take care ... hope by now you are feeling better and able to plan some 'fun outings.'
    Fondest thoughts your way as always-
    Barb

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    1. Barb, I am sure it is very traumatizing to those undergoing treatment, currently, as well as for those who are facing unemployment. But, hopefully, it will all get sorted out and things will end well for all concerned. It wasn't selfish at all for you to worry about the facilities where your daughters are being treated! It was a very natural concern and I am very glad that the facilities they are attending are stable. One less thing for you to worry about! :)

      Thank you, yes, I am feeling better. Hope all is well with you and you are recovering from your own cold and cough. Take care.

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  11. So sad! Recently a hospital in Philadelphia closed also. Probably for the same reasons. I always felt that it is one sacrifice being ill, and another dealing with drs/hospitals/bills etc! It is a good thing you had your treatments at the time that you did! Andrea

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    1. It really is sad, Andrea. For both the patients and the employees. I am very grateful that I don't have to deal with this in the middle of my active treatments! If necessary, my primary care physician can request authorization for new specialists for me or, perhaps, my medical insurance will reassign me to other facilities. I shall wait and see.

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  12. Wisps of Words: Thank you for your comments. All four of them. I have chosen not to publish them. You are entitled to your opinion, of course.

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    1. Of course, it is your blog, and you are entitled to publish or not, any/all comments.

      Gentle hugs...

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  13. I was shocked to hear about the hospital going bankrupt and having to close. So hard for all the patients and employees, and hard too for you with the inconvenience of having to go somewhere else. I am so thankful that you didn't encounter this situation when you began your diagnosis and treatments.

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    1. Yes, Bushlady, I, too, am very grateful that I didn't have to deal with this when I was undergoing my treatments. That would have been so stressful, although, I'm sure they would have made some arrangements.

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