Thursday, September 18, 2008
Senator Grassley Investigates Michelle Obama's Employer
Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) is investigating the University of Chicago Medical Center about the hospital's efforts to steer patients with non-urgent complaints away from the emergency room to local clinics. He is requesting financial records, board minutes, and other information related to hiring, job promotions, business contracting and care for the poor.
Michelle Obama, wife of presidential candidate, Barack Obama, is currently on leave from her position as the V.P. of community and external relations at the Hospital and she was a key person in the initiative to utilize community clinics.
I have news for Senator Grassley. Emergency departments across the country are in big trouble from over crowding and they are filled with patients who are using the hospital for primary care and non-emergent health issues. The New York State Health Commissioner has said that overcrowded emergency rooms are a sign of a health-care crisis for which there are few rapid, inexpensive or simple solutions.
Emergency department (ED) use has increased 23 percent between 1992 and 2002, while the number of hospital EDs shrunk by 15 percent over the same time. Today, many cities are reporting dramatic rises in ED wait times and ambulance diversions, as insured and uninsured patients are increasingly relying on emergency rooms to seek treatment.
Hospitals all across the country are looking at innovative ways for patients to receive the most appropriate and cost effective treatment. Non-urgent matters SHOULD be treated in community clinics, not the ED.
So, Senator Grassley, do your homework before you open an investigation. The Senate is not your own political playground. You are there to solve problems, not create them.
Posted by Toni Brayer, MD at 8:13 PM