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John Stossel

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John Stossel denounces famed hospital’s ‘customer service’


New York-Presbyterian Hospital’s Columbia University complex.

Fox News correspondent John Stossels lays into what he says is terrible customer service, if good medical treatment, at prestigious New York-Presbyterian Hospital, where he is being treated for lung cancer.

“{A}s 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 e-mail to say, ‘I’m running late.’ Few doctors give out their e-mail address. Patients can’t communicate using modern technology.

“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.

“I fill out long medical history forms by hand and, in the next office, do it again. Same wording: name, address, insurance, etc.”

“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.”

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