Profits Before People: An Unacceptable Model for Healthcare

Profits Before People: An Unacceptable Model for Healthcare


{2:25 minutes to read}  Does patient care suffer when a healthcare facility’s profit motive conflict with its duty to provide the highest quality patient care? There is evidence that some facilities are cutting corners and rushing patients through the system in order to save money and increase profits.


In a recent Oregon case, a jury awarded a nurse $3,000,000 against a hospital that wrongfully fired her. The nurse had complained many times that cost-cutting measures were putting patient care at risk; her hospital’s managers had instituted a policy that imposed time limits for nurses to complete specific duties. She also tried to organize nurses to protest against the same policies – which she felt “rushed” the patients through the hospital.


The nurse who complained had worked at that hospital for 34 years and had a great employment record. However, she was written up several times for spending more time than the hospital allocated for her to work with patients. She even worked off-the-clock to complete patient care. The jury decided that the hospital fired her because she refused to scrimp on the time she spent with her patients – not because she was failing in her duties. The jury also found that the hospital unjustly and illegally retaliated against her because she was bringing unwanted attention to the unreasonable time limits it placed on caregivers.

In another trend, healthcare facilities are applying salary practices from the for-profit world. They fire senior, more experienced practitioners and nurses, and then replace them with less experienced staff. The junior staffers are paid much less than their senior counterparts and this saves the facilities money. However, years of valuable health care experience are lost with this tactic. Less experienced healthcare providers are assigned positions with high levels of responsibility that they may not be able to meet. It is a practice that does not bode well for patient care.

Profits should never be put before people. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a healthcare facility as a result of that practice, please call our office at 212-809-4293 to discuss your legal rights.


Ron Katter

Katter Law Firm
Phone: 844-WAS-HURT
Alt Phone: 212-809-4293

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