Beloved Fox News host John Stossel dropped a bombshell this week when he revealed he has been diagnosed with lung cancer.
In a brutally honest oped for Fox, Stossel revealed his diagnosis and discussed the horrible customer service he has received at the hospital where he is being treated.
“My doctors tell me my growth was caught early and I’ll be fine,” Stossel wrote, much to the relief of his fans. “Soon I will barely notice that a fifth of my lung is gone. I believe them. After all, I’m at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. U.S. News & World Report ranked it No. 1 in New York. I get excellent medical care here.”
“But as a consumer reporter, I have to say, the hospital’s customer service stinks. Doctors keep me waiting for hours, and no one bothers to call or email to say, ‘I’m running late.’ Few doctors give out their email address. Patients can’t communicate using modern technology,” he continued. “I get X-rays, EKG tests, echocardiograms, blood tests. Are all needed? I doubt it. But no one discusses that with me or mentions the cost. Why would they? The patient rarely pays directly. Government or insurance companies pay.”
Stossel went on to discuss specifics of the bad service he has received:
I shouldn’t be surprised that hospitals are lousy at customer service. The Detroit Medical Center once bragged that it was one of America’s first hospitals to track medication with barcodes. Good! But wait — ordinary supermarkets did that decades before.
Customer service is sclerotic because hospitals are largely socialist bureaucracies. Instead of answering to consumers, which forces businesses to be nimble, hospitals report to government, lawyers and insurance companies.
Whenever there’s a mistake, politicians impose new rules: the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act paperwork, patient rights regulations, new layers of bureaucracy…
Nurses must follow state regulations that stipulate things like, “Notwithstanding subparagraph (i) of paragraph (a) of this subdivision, a nurse practitioner, certified under section sixty-nine hundred ten of this article and practicing for more than three thousand six hundred hours may comply with this paragraph in lieu of complying with the requirements of paragraph (a)…”
Try running a business with rules like that.
Adding to that is a fear of lawsuits. Nervous hospital lawyers pretend mistakes can be prevented with paper and procedure. Stressed hospital workers ignore common sense and follow rigid rules.
In the end, Stossel surmised that the bad service was a direct result of Obama’s liberal America.
“Leftists say the solution to such problems is government health care. But did they not notice what happened at Veterans Affairs? Bureaucrats let veterans die, waiting for care,” he concluded. “When the scandal was exposed, they didn’t stop. USA Today reports that the abuse continues. Sometimes the VA’s suicide hotline goes to voicemail. Patients will have a better experience only when more of us spend our own money for care. That’s what makes markets work.”
Please keep John Stossel in your thoughts and prayers during his cancer battle. Get well soon, John!