By Paul Levy
First Posted at Not Running a Hospital on 3/4/2013
Paul Levy, Host of (Not) Running a Hospital

Paul Levy, Host of (Not) Running a Hospital

In the musical Man of La Mancha, the hero’s niece Antonia piously, but insincerely, sings the song “I’m only thinking of him.”I’m only thinking of him, 
I’m only thinking of him, 
Whatever I may do or say; 
I’m only thinking of him! 
In my body; it’s well known, 
There is not one selfish bone… 
I’m only thinking end worrying about him!

A reprise is being sung in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  For years, the University of New Mexico Hospital has served as the safety net hospital for the region’s poor and uninsured, supported in part by $90 million per year from a dedicated tax levy.  Now comes the Lovelace Health System, owned by Tennessee’s Ardent Health Services, offering to share beds with UNMH as an alternative to UNMH building a new $146 million hospital.

I am moved by the generosity of this for-profit chain.  I’m sure they are only thinking of the needs of the public and the burden facing UNMH.

Oh wait, a story in Albuquerque Business First eventually mentions something of interest:

[Lovelace CEO Ron] Stern’s letter also said the Lovelace Medical Center in the Downtown area has an occupancy rate of 61 percent and could easily take overflow patients from UNMH.

Oh, 61 percent.

By the way, was Lovelace proposing to take all kinds of patients, or only ones with insurance?

Let’s turn back to the song.  (Click here if you can’t see the video).