The Daily

Lee Memorial or Lee Health?

Earlier on this blog, we explored the roots of a local public hospital. See, the January 9, 16 and 23rd blog posts on this blog (Daily and Weekly).

We also explored the same public hospital’s public relations campaign and name change following a string of penalties ($2.4 million in 2016 and $2.9 million in 2014) with licensing agencies. See, 1/4, 1/3 blog posts. These Medicare penalties are a part of the ACA’s cost reduction efforts that focus on avoidable medical errors as a driver of healthcare costs.

By changing the name of the hospital system from “Lee Memorial” to “Lee Health”, the governmental entity shifts the focus away from the century old hospital that started the monopoly to the physicians offices and practices that the system consumed over the last ten years. Patients still do not seem to know that when they are walking into what was once their private doctors’ offices, they are now in the hands of government supervised healthcare.

Bureaucracy – particularly political bureaucracy – is a stubborn thing. It’s instincts for self-preservation and secrecy are historically verifiable. In the next series of posts, I will discuss cases in which I brought light to the secretive world of medical “peer review” and “sentinel event reporting” at our local public hospital. The palace intrigue and legal maneuvering used to prevent the public from knowing about dangers posed to patients from substandard care are a lesson in how to fix the broken system.

Change of name is window dressing – a PR stunt more than an effort to improve patient care. It is not enough for the Lee Memorial Health government behemoth to operate a monopoly on local healthcare. It is not even enough for them to benefit from the rules of secrecy and confidentiality afforded to private hospitals. It is not even enough that they wield the power of taxation and the political weight of the Government. It’s not even enough that they have morphed into the largest employer in Lee County. In addition to all of these privileges, the public servants at the hospital insist on the right to insist on public relations machinations – name changes, advertising campaigns and slick productions designed to lull the citizens of the county into the belief that their “not for profit” hospitals are something they are not.

Serious personal injuries require the background, knowledge and skill of a lawyer intimately familiar with the institutions responsible for your health. Don’t sell yourself short.