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The Future Of University Medical Center
The Future Of University Medical Center

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AIR DATE: September 14, 2012

University Medical Center has been struggling with its role as the "safety net" hospital for some years. The hospital is saddled with indigent care and emergency care that other hospitals will not do and has problems making money because of the administrative tangle of being a county operation. So what should happen with the hospital? Sell it? Subsidize it? Or even close it?
 
GUESTS
Brian Brannman, CEO, University Medical Center of Southern Nevada
Dr. Anthony Marlon, Chair, UMC Hospital Advisory Board
Lawrence Weekly, Commissioner, Clark County Commission
Teresa Coughlan, Health Policy Center, Urban Institute

 

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    COMMENTS:
    I am a Nevada resident who is currently a second year medical student in Washington, DC. I have every intention of returning to Las Vegas at attend a residency program at UMC and stay in the Vegas Valley. I am becoming a physician because I want to assist all people regardless of their income, I am not at all interested in business. However, I am concerned that I will be graduating with a half-a-million dollars in debt. Since UMC provides such an essential service to the community, I would be in favor of more federal funding for all of the residency programs and medicare/medicaid reimbursement.
    AngieSep 14, 2012 11:03:11 AM
    I am a member if the UMC Hospital Advisory Board and think it is important for the audience to know there has been no vote by the HAB on the issue of changing governance at UMC or the need to do so!! Basic information regarding the costs associated with any change nor has there been any assessment of what if any financial benefit there would be, Unfortunately at last nights meeting there was a motion to made to not support such a change but because the agenda language had been changed from that of the last 2 years no vote could be taken. I would suggest other members of the HAB. Perhaps the majority who do not think this is in the best interest of UMC be invited to speak to this issue as well. I have tried to call in for apotox 30 min without success.
    Dr Nick SpirtosSep 13, 2012 09:56:37 AM
    You speak about a doctor shortage but my ex-huaband is a primary care physician and his patients have drastically cut back on visits because they lost their insurance coverage or can't pay. More doctors mean more doctors with less viable practices.
    Denise KaplanSep 13, 2012 09:36:16 AM
    isn't it true that the county simply has a responsibility to pay for indigent medical care by law contingent on them setting a budgeted amount for that care? They chose to use UMC as a vehicle for that care? Absent the need for the burn center and the trauma center - couldn't they pay for indigent medical care if the private hospitals were providing that care? County wages and PERS puts an additional burden on the financial viability of UMC. Commissioners won't close UMC because of the union workers who would lose jobs. They could spend the same money and probably treat more people absent the monolithic UMC.
    DanielSep 13, 2012 09:32:54 AM
    Operating a hospital is unlike any other business due to the excessive factors that cannot be controlled. People do not fall ill on schedules, an emergency situation of any magnitude can drastically affect patient populations in mere minutes. The only way to make UMC a viable community resource is to remove it from under County governance. There is too much red tape, unnecessary processes that impede fixing emergent issues that arise in a hospital. Lives are affected - allow UMC to become a 501(c)3.
    Concerned Citizen Sep 13, 2012 08:58:23 AM
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