In response to Jean DerGurahian's "Docs talk 'nighthawking' at RSNA":
Aside from a pervasive large/urban hospital bias, it is clear the fear of becoming the next wagon-wheel maker has soured in the mouths of your subjects. With all due respect to your distinguished guests, I believe the great philosopher Jimmy Buffett once mused, "It's my own damn fault." While my own sentiments would lean toward "welcome to the global free-market economy," you get the point.
I work in a small rural hospital. Like most small hospitals, we had suffered from opportunism, instability, eccentricism and perpetual turnover with on-site radiologists for ages. When the final straw came last summer, we switched to Nighthawk full-time. Yes, we are primarily a teleradiology hospital.
It's predictable. It's reliable. It's rapid. It's high quality. It provides us with subspecialization we could never afford. It's flexible. It has no human resources issues. It never sleeps. It never goes on vacation. It has no benefit costs. It is an allowable cost. It has no personality issues. It doesn't require office space. It never fights with our primary physicians. It will even do its own billing and collections if you want. It turns around emergent final reads in about 20 minutes. And it's financially predictable. It can't be recruited away. The list goes on until you get to on-site procedures. Easily rectified.
We have invisible service, happy doctors, an improved standard of care, a grateful staff, a calm chief executive officer and a chief financial officer with no surprises lurking. Not bad for a pack of vultures. What do they do for an encore?
Scott BowersChief financial officerCumberland County HospitalBurkesville, Ky. To submit a letter to YOUR VIEWS, click here. Please include your name, title and hometown.