You Gotta be Kidding Me!

Oh, my….!

Excuse me for a moment. Right now steam is literally coming out of my ears and I’m not typing this post as much as I am pounding the keyboard.

IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP: If you or your child needs advanced Cardiac Care – if you need advance medical care of any type – do not, repeat NOT seek it in South Carolina.

For years now these guys have looked across the river at two other hospitals and their Cardiac Care units with lust in their eyes. They want a Cardiac Care unit of their very own. The trouble is, you can’t just build a medical unit in the great state of South Carolina. You have to have approval from the Department of Health and Environmental Control (who use the acronym DHEC, which is pronounced “Dee-Heck”) and so far, DHEC has said there is no need for another Cardiac Care Unit. There are two good units across the river, they say, and there is no need for another one. We don’t need three facilities so close together, all we’ll have is duplication of care, and the quality of all three units will decline.

So the hospital tried a different tactic: Get an amendment to the State Health Plan (an overview of the state’s medical needs, drawn up by the South Carolina Hospital Association and approved by DHEC) that actually lowers the minimum number of heart surgeries a unit must do to maintain DHEC approval.

Amazing Fact #1: The amendment lost by a vote of 7 to 6.

Amazing Fact #2: Because the state’s “sunshine law” wasn’t complied with, this issue is going to be voted on again!

Common sense will tell you that the only way a good medical team comes together is through experience. This list by U.S. News and World Report lists the top heart hospitals in the nation, and here is the best Pediatric hospital for heart problems. These hospitals got to be so good by experience; and they got that experience through repetition. Not by trying to get by on the least effort possible.

The move to lower the minimum number of procedures doesn’t show a willingness to provide top notch heart care… it tells me that they are more interested in dipping into the deep pockets of the insurance companies. And no, I am not so blind as to believe that everyone involved in Cardiology has pure motives; there is plenty of money to be made. But you can at least act like you have the health of the community as your best interest.


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