August 26, 2009

Canadians Visit Michigan Hospitals

With the health care debate raging everyone has heard, wether you believe it or not, that Canadians come to the U.S. for health care.

Proof positive now ...

Hospitals in border cities, including Detroit, are forging lucrative arrangements with Canadian health agencies to provide care not widely available across the border.

Agreements between Detroit hospitals and the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care for heart, imaging tests, bariatric and other services provide access to some services not immediately available in the province, said ministry spokesman David Jensen. (emphasis mine)

Canada has contracted with the U.S. for services not available in Canada or the wait is to long.

Canada does this so they don't have to build more facilities to deal with their own citizens, they instead send them across the boarder and basically use the U.S. as a back-up system for when their fails.

Of course they are saying it's not because of long waits, it's just "smart money" to use the U.S. as a back-up system.

But Dr. Uwe Reinhardt, a Princeton University health economist who has studied the U.S. and Canadian health systems, said arrangements with cities like Detroit "are a terrific way to manage capacity" given Canada's smaller health care budget.

And it's not just for non-emergencies either ..

Three Windsor-area hospitals have arrangements with Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, to provide backup, after-hours angioplasty. Authorities will clear Detroit-Windsor Tunnel traffic for ambulances, if necessary

After hours angioplasty? Hospitals actually close in Canada and do not provide all services after hours? God help us.

How profitable is it for the U.S. hospitals and how much is Canada spending, just in the Detroit area, for sending it's patients across the boarder?

Pontes declined to give revenue figures for the DMC's international business, but said the program "always has been a profitable entity."

Tony Armada, chief executive officer of Henry Ford Hospital, said the hospital received $1 million for cardiac care alone.

One would think that Canada would secretly be pushing against nationalized care in the U.S. because their source of medical care will dry up. I think that Canadians would be put low on the priority list when the wait list start in the U.S.

Posted by Quality Weenie at August 26, 2009 09:01 AM