Hospital: Man, Woman, Birth, Death, Infinity, Plus Red Tape, Bad Behavior, Money, God, and Diversity on Steroids

Hospital: Man, Woman, Birth, Death, Infinity, Plus Red Tape, Bad Behavior, Money, God, and Diversity on Steroids

Julie Salamon

Language: English

Pages: 384

ISBN: 0143115367

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Man, Woman, Birth, Death, Infinity, Plus Red Tape, Bad Behavior, Money, God, and Diversity on Steroids

A warts-and-all exploration of the struggles suffered and triumphs achieved by America's health-care professionals, Hospital follows a year in the life of Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, which serves a diverse multicultural demographic. Unraveling the financial, ethical, technological, sociological, and cultural challenges encountered every day, bestselling author Julie Salamon tracks the individuals who make this complex hospital run-from doctors, patients, and administrators to nurses, ambulance drivers, cooks, and cleaners. Drawing on her skills as an award-winning interviewer, observer, and social critic, Salamon reveals the dynamic universe of small and large concerns and personalities that, taken together, determine the nature of care in America.

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chart in neat left-handed script. She was wearing a new wig. Mr. Zen’s chart was in a binder several inches thick. Eileen Keilitz, the floor nurse who had taken care of Mr. Zen since he arrived in the hospital the previous summer, came to talk to the doctors. “Until very recently he wanted to do everything himself,” she said. “For us, because we’ve been with him all the time, we’ve seen him through a long process. I can’t imagine he would want to be in tremendous pain. Usually Chinese people are

won’t treat you if you don’t have money. So we promise to treat any citizen of Brooklyn who has colon cancer regardless of their ability to pay.” She was rewarded for this nod to community responsibility with applause. She did not discuss the distasteful aspects of this gesture of noblesse oblige. How would the hospital convince people to take advantage of the freebie, especially once they understood this wasn’t simple, like getting a flu shot, but a time-consuming procedure that required a

thick manuals of diagnosis codes listing tens of thousands of code numbers, indicating diseases and their gradations. Say, for example, a patient has a gastric ulcer. There are more than twenty variations on the diagnosis; the addition of specific details indicating severity could drastically change the amount paid to the hospital and to physicians. Precision was required. If you “upcoded” inaccurately about a diagnosis that was reimbursed at a higher rate, the government asked for its money

saw the quirkiness, if you just saw the behaviors, you wouldn’t get to the depth of her, that depth of caring. She’s very sensitive. She’s very, very mission-driven. She lives out her idea that people should not be underserved and that we should be taking care of them, that they should get what they need, whatever that means.” Brier was tired and uncertain and vulnerable, but damned if that tough cookie would let anyone see her as weak. When I stopped by her office for a debriefing the day after

aided by a clarifying glass of scotch: Hatzolah didn’t work for him, he worked for Hatzolah. How had he missed this salient point until now? He confessed he regarded the Hatzolah volunteers as “whackers” (the nickname in some quarters for volunteer firemen or EMS technicians). “The guys from Hatzolahs are like volley whackers everywhere,” he said. “They’re enthusiasts about their thing. They’ve got a little bit of—I don’t mean this at all disparagingly, and I hope it doesn’t sound like I’m

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