Originally published on Tue October 30, 2012 12:41 pm
By Scott Hensley
Credit John Minchillo / AP
When a storm hits, people count on the local hospital to be ready — no matter what.
But when Sandy slammed into New York City, one of Manhattan's biggest hospitals buckled. After the power went out in Lower Manhattan, New York University Langone Medical Center's backup power generators failed, too.
That led to the evacuation of more than 200 patients to other hospitals, including Mount Sinai Medical Center and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
Patients were still being moved Tuesday morning, the Huffington Post reported.
A paradox of American health care is that hospitals are sometimes rewarded for doing things badly.
Patients who are discharged, for example, shouldn't have to come right back because they got worse after getting home. But if they do come back, hospitals benefit because they can fill an empty bed and bill for more care.
The federal government says, in fact, that Medicare alone pays $17.4 billion a year for unnecessary return visits.