Today in health care economics:
One of the psychiatrists in the hospital reads somewhere that, by slightly changing the way he writes his notes, it will get classified in a different “billing category” and the hospital will make twice as much money per patient seen. He tries this and it turns out to be true.
He gets very excited and tells all the other psychiatrists, who had never heard anything about this before. They briefly consider it, then decide that slightly changing the way they write their notes sounds hard, and their salary is unrelated to how much money the hospital makes off each patient. Nothing changes.
One would think that the hospital would either mandate this new type of note directly, or link the psychiatrists’ salaries to the amount of money the hospital gets per patient in order to incentivize changes like this. It doesn’t. One would think the hospital would at least have somebody come around and tell people that a slight change to the notes would make twice as much money, in case somebody wanted to act on it. They didn’t.
I’ve been told that it’s wrong to care too much whether a hospital is for-profit or non-profit. My hospital is non-profit, and I wonder if a for-profit handles this kind of thing differently.