Quiz 8: Making Ethical Decisions in Business
Capitalism promotes the free market with limited government intervention and pushes every field-education, health, housing, etc.- to be privatized, making the private sector take charge of it and let the invisible hands of the market decide the costs of healthcare, education, and housing. Healthcare is one of the important industries as it deals with human lives. This led one to wonder whether health care should be left in the hands of the market or the government should regulate the industry. The market-driven approach is invalid for the health industry to some extent since healthcare is a basic right where everyone should be entitled to basic healthcare, however, the market-driven approach commodifies healthcare. The problem of the market approach is that it reduces health into a mere commodity, and the health industry will determine the cost of drugs and treatment with limited restrain from the government. For instance, in the Country U, due to limited government intervention in the healthcare industry, the invisible hands of the market decide the costs of any drugs and treatment, rendering it extremely expensive and unaffordable for many people. A trade-off between care quality and efficiency should not be supported as it is related to health, and compromising on the quality of healthcare and productivity can lead to unfortunate incidents. When it comes to health, comprising quality care and productivity by hospitals should not be supported as it can endanger the lives of the patients and can lessen the credibility of hospitals. The best healthcare is when the health industry is regulated and pushed by the government to provide a quality care and efficient services. The primary reason why there is trade-offs between better health care and delivering timely services is due to the exorbitant middle bills, which pushed people to resort to cheaper lesser quality services, instead of the improved and efficient health care. An additional government intervention is necessary to induce health industry to provide quality and efficient services.
Capitalism promotes the free market with limited government intervention and has pushed every field-education, health, housing, etc.- to be privatized, making the private sector take charge of it and let the invisible hands of the market decide the costs of healthcare, education, and housing. Healthcare is one of the important industries as it deals with human lives. This led one to wonder whether health care should be left in the hands of the market or the government should regulate the industry. Health care is indeed a basic right that should be available to every individual. No person should be denied access to basic health care. Health care can be limited in treatments that require special drugs or treatment. Since healthcare is a basic right, it should not be reduced to a mere commodity, whereby the costs of any treatment are determined by the market forces. Instead, the health industry should be regulated by the government to check the prerogative of the health industry that decides any drug or treatment costs by themselves. The government should set the costs of treatments and drugs. The health industry in the Country U should be regulated by the government since Americans pay quadruple the amount for pharmaceutical drugs, as compared to citizens in other developed nations pay. Leaving entirely in the hands of the market has made healthcare unaffordable or impossible without having insurance for many people. It has turned into a profiteering business that made even flu medicine (which is basic healthcare) extremely expensive. High drug expenses are the biggest field of overspending in the Country U as opposed to Continent E where medication rates are regulated by the government. Healthcare, if not controlled, has become a business that caters to the interests of the corporates and the rich people. The Country U is the living example of why government intention is indeed in the healthcare industry.
The rising medical costs and the complicated healthcare system that entrapped the federal government and the health industry in a cat and mouse game prompted the emergence of a new healthcare system called Corporation H. This system came from the brilliant and witty idea of Person S, who took advantage of the chaotic, remarkably expensive, and complicated healthcare system in the Country U. The introduction of complex Medicare Diagnosis-related groups (DRGs) and the rise of Managed Care declined the number of stays in hospitals, rendering many hospitals with bankruptcy due to oversupply of beds. Rick Scott envisioned an opportunity from the declining industry and interjected strategies that revolutionized the health industry. The Corporation H would eventually bring 80 percent of the hospitals under its ambit. The strategies of Corporation H included offering a share of ownership to local physicians in the hospitals (here, without the physician's prescriptions, patients were not allowed to be admitted in the hospitals), incorporated the local market by purchasing additional hospitals merely to shut them (this decreased the number of beds available, which would ultimately increase demand in Person S's hospitals), finally, the hospitals owned by the Corporation H were reduced as hubs which attached other health services, including a psychiatric infirmary, diagnostic centers, and a cancer treatment. It was a profit-making strategy by insinuating patients to move back and forth within an arrangement of a system controlled by Corporation H. By 1994, Corporation H bought 199 hospitals and 96 surgical centers, one of the hospital was H, which initially repudiated Scott's offer. As Corporation H, led by Person S, took over the hospitals, it extracted money from them by employing a hard-nosed marketing policy, transcending beyond the usual hospital management. Some of his strategies crossed ethical boundaries. The Corporation H's strategies were known for their meticulous calculations and achievement of short-term goals, nonetheless, these strategies compromise quality care and productivity that affected the lives of the patients as well as the workers. The strategies used by Corporation H is unscrupulous and fundamentally inconsistent since it overemphasized on profit generation and cost-cutting with less concern for ethical values. It enforced the hospitals owned by the company to refinance the facility debt with cheaper capital and cut staffs to trim cost (which proved to a be negative pursuit since it led to the deterioration of patients health care) and replaced with part-time workers, this step increased medication errors and delayed providing tests results. In addition, hospital administrators were given arduous targets, which was achieving revenue growth target from 15-40 percent a year, and those who failed to achieve the targets were terminated from their jobs abruptly. Some of the doctors resigned due to enormous pressure and the enforcement by Corporation H to compromise ethical values. Furthermore, the company engaged in fraud by increasing payments by billing, incorrect billing, and Medicare scam charges. Moreover, the hospital pride itself as a place where the workers were treated with compassion and kindness, and their business conducted with fairness and integrity, and treated their colleagues with loyalty, respect, and dignity. However, these were contradictory statements as the workers were viewed as profit-making tools, and their businesses were conducted by engaging in fraudulent means to become a giant healthcare corporation.