Realist, not conformist analysis of the latest financial, business and political news

Can’t These People Damn Well Count?

No, this isn’t about the Democratic Party in Iowa, we know they can’t. This is instead about the Democratic Party over at Prospect Magazine. They’re complaining about how when Veteran’s Admin health care is sent off to the private sector then said private sector borrows nurses who are expert in Veterans’ care. This seems eminently sensible around here, use the experts to do what they’re expert at, our goal is, after all, to provide medical care to veterans.

But then that’s because we’re sensible around here.

It’s the other little bit that annoys:

Sunrise and MountainView, the first two hospitals named in the memo, are owned by the Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), the largest for-profit hospital network in America. HCA has a decades-long history of perpetrating health care fraud and abuse, yet continues to rake in tens of billions in profits each year.

They themselves link to this page:

4. After factoring in nonoperating income, one-time charges and a tax benefit of $236 million, HCA ended the fourth quarter of 2018 with a $1.1 billion profit. That’s compared to the fourth quarter of 2017, when the company recorded a profit of $474 million.

5. Looking at full-year 2018 results, HCA recorded a profit of $3.8 billion on revenue of $46.7 billion. In 2017, HCA reported a profit of $2.2 billion on revenue of $43.6 billion.

$2 billion a year in profits. $4 billion a year in profits. Hey, maybe that’s too much or possibly not enough. But it is somewhat different from “tens of billions in profits each year” isn’t it?

We’re left having to conclude that the folks at Prospect are simply innumerate. Which puts them in good company with those in Iowa really, although it will make it difficult for the pair of them to run the economy and healthcare – if we ever let them do that.

Update. After a complaint from me to them they’ve now updated the piece.

HCA has a decades-long history of perpetrating health care fraud and abuse, yet continues to rake in billions in profits each year.

One does worry about the level of numeracy that requires an outside complaint to grasp this but still.

They’re also insistent that the name of the magazine is The American Prospect. So it is. No doubt we’ll try to remember that it was The American Prospect out an order of magnitude.

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john77
john77
1 year ago

Surely you mean “can’t these people damn well read?”

Phoenix44
Phoenix44
1 year ago

Because absolutely no fraud, abuse or worse ever occurs in state-run health care….

Like, say, breast operations that were botched or not needed?

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-birmingham-51369881

And his abuse skewed the data, producing a cancer hotpsot that didn’t exist.

Jim
Jim
1 year ago
Reply to  Phoenix44

“Because absolutely no fraud, abuse or worse ever occurs in state-run health care….

Like, say, breast operations that were botched or not needed?”

Or murdering patients who pissed you off a bit:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-48106999

Esteban
Esteban
1 year ago

Not to mention that the Veterans Administration has had a very recent long running scandal about fraud and abuse to hide service delivery failures to protect the managers’ bonuses.

Pcar
Pcar
1 year ago

After a complaint from me to them they’ve now updated the piece<

– "HCA has a decades-long history of perpetrating health care fraud and abuse, yet continues to rake in billions in profits each year"

More fool you. The attack continues but with correct numbers.

Better the lie remains for all to see and laugh at

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