Physicians for a National Health Program
April 29, 2010
Dear PNHP board members and activists,
We're writing to call your attention to an extremely significant event in the Cleveland area, which is sadly an increasingly frequent experience of physicians working for corporate entities.
Dr. George Randt and his colleague are board-certified internists who have had a contractual relationship with St. John Medical Center covering some 2,500 patients for several years. These two doctors have excellent records with the hospital, high patient satisfaction and retention rates, and have never had an unfavorable review. Both were awarded bonuses in 2009, and Dr. Randt's contract was renewed in January of this year.
This past month they were notified by the president of their hospital, Mr. Cliff Coker, that their contracts were being terminated due to lack of productivity and their having incurred excessive overhead expense. In other words, they weren't sufficiently profit-driven. At a previous staff meeting, the staff physicians were told by the CFO to admit just "one more Medicare patient a month" to improve hospital revenues.
If you can, please join Dr. Randt, his patients, and others at a rally at St. John Medical Center, 29000 Center Ridge Road, Westlake, Ohio, this Sunday, May 2, at 1:00 p.m. to call for the reinstatement of these two physicians and for the elimination of policies which are justified solely on the basis of maximizing the profits of a health care system. Speakers at the rally include PNHP's congressional fellow, Dr. Margaret Flowers, and Dr. Carol Paris. (See the press release below for more information.)
Call Mr. Cliff Coker today and demand that these physicians be reinstated to their position. His office number is (440) 827-5008. He can also be reached by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org
We welcome you to share your views that patients should come before profits with the newspapers in the area by writing a letter to the editor to the The Plain Dealer or Sun News.
Dismissing these physicians without cause, merely to maximize hospital revenues, is the embodiment of the derangement of our system of health care finance. This was done without any semblance of due process. The livelihood and status of skilled professionals are being sacrificed to assure profitability; this is rapidly becoming the norm within our profit-driven system. As a result, it poses the gravest threat to professionalism and patient primacy. These issues would be greatly alleviated under a single-payer health financing system that places value on health outcomes, continuity of care, and quality.
Please join us in calling for the reinstatement of Dr. Randt, a longtime PNHP member, and his colleague and an end to health care practices that place the goals of profitability over the care of patients.
Health care for all,
Quentin Young, M.D.
National Coordinator, PNHP
Johnathon Ross, M.D.
State Coordinator, PNHP Ohio