Some people who have surgery won’t ever be admitted into a hospital to have the procedure. This is because many of them will go to surgery centers that are freestanding clinics instead of the hospital. While these centers do serve an important purpose, they aren’t without risk to the patients.
One of the primary issues with surgery centers is that they don’t have the life-saving equipment that a hospital has. In many areas, the centers have to have a partnership with a hospital so that a patient who has an emergency at the clinic can be cared for at a local hospital. Even this isn’t an ideal situation because of the response time when you call 911 and the time it takes to get the patient over to the hospital.
Despite the dangers of surgery centers, Medicare does cover the cost of many surgeries that these centers perform. This is largely due to the monetary benefit of the surgery center. They are usually less expensive than a hospital for the same procedure. In a way, it is putting money over patients.
Another interesting point to know about these centers is that they aren’t subjected to the same laws as other businesses that a doctor might own. There is a law that forbids doctors from referring patients to a business they own. This law was waived for surgery centers so doctors can refer a patient to a center that is owned by that doctor. This is a circumstance that further blurs the line that divides profits and patient safety.
Patients who are injured at surgery centers might decide that they are going to seek compensation. This is possible if there is a surgical error that is the result of negligence or malpractice. In some cases, the patient might die, which would leave loved ones to handle the task of seeking compensation.
Source: KARE-11, “How a push to cut costs and boost profits at surgery centers led to a trail of death,” HOW A PUSH TO CUT COSTS AND BOOST PROFITS AT SURGERY CENTERS LED TO A TRAIL OF DEATH, accessed April 06, 2018