Hospital-Centric Healthcare

Hostess Twinkies and Hospital-Centric Healthcare

December 5, 2012

Hungry for sweet junk food? I just checked, and a box of 50 Hostess Twinkies is selling on Amazon for over $95.

I haven’t had a Twinkie or a Hostess cupcake for over 20 years, but I’m obviously in the minority as hundreds of thousands of people, or perhaps more, are going crazy over the closure of Hostess, which after being choked to death by the unions, chiefly by the Teamsters which represents the drivers working in its distribution system, has opted to liquidate in bankruptcy.

I can’t help but think that the death of Hostess offers a glimpse into the future of hospital-centric healthcare.

Not all bakers make goods that are in high demand. It doesn’t matter how good their distribution system is, their product is still what it is. Other bakers, such as Hostess, produce goods that are in great demand, yet their delivery system is so bloated, bureaucratic and inefficient that they can’t deliver their product and still remain in business.

Will hospitals inadvertently destroy the quality of their product, “healthcare,” by transforming independent, striving professionals into entitlement zombies, delivering as little as possible before their shift ends?

Or, will hospitals have a high quality product — highly motivated and highly talented physicians — yet be burdened by a delivery system, the bureaucratic world of hospital administration, that results in a product that, like the crops of the old Soviet Union, rots in the metaphoric fields?

I’m not buying any Hostess Twinkies, certainly not at close to $2 each on the Twinkie grey market. But one day I, and you, will certainly need to buy healthcare services. But will we buy it from the hospital? Or from the grey, or even black, market?

Comment or contact me if you’d like to discuss this post.

Mark F. Weiss

www.weisspc.com

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