April 2005 Archives

Well, the fine administrators at the Oktibbeha County Hospital have once again shown their true colors. It angers me that this place continues to receive public support for it certainly is not concerned with people, only the bottom line. The Northeast Mississippi Journal reported today that the hospital was upset with a Tupelo, MS company that wanted to locate an MRI facility in Starkville to conduct joint research with Mississippi State University.

The truth of the problem came through in the second paragraph of the article:

Sonny Kelly, administrator at the hospital, said Premier Radiology's plans to use a high-tech magnetic resonance imaging machine will siphon high-paying customers from the hospital, putting its financial stability in question.
Notice the word customer? Not patient, not client, not taxpayer, but customer. The truth is OCH is only interested in making money but it should perhaps consider new leadership for that to happen.

Take the following: In a recent problem with I had with the hospital they let it slip that they give the insurance company about an 80% discount. It seems high to me. Of course this came to light after they billed me a year late after I had settled with insurance companies. When asked why it took so long I was told that it took a while to realize that the company they contracted with was not billing properly. Oh, and that I should have kept up with what I owed. I assure you, never in my wildest dreams would I have allowed for an 80% discount. Man do I feel for the poor people with no insurance!

Take their current expansion. There is a lot of construction going on at the hospital which again makes you wonder about the capabilities of their management. If allowing one MRI facility to locate in Starkville will cause such financial hardship on the hospital, should they be expanding facilities now?

Let's look at the Wellness Connection. Ostensibly it is their cardiac rehab facility but it is actually a gym. It competes directly with local gyms (or health clubs) in the area and it even competes with the recreational facility the University has. I don't recall anyone crying foul when it was built.

Take the case of the ophthalmologist who left town not long ago. When he opened his practice he was told that he could only sell eyeglasses to his patients, anyone with a prescription from another doctor would have to use an optometrist in town. That a deal the hospital cut to get him here without stepping on the toes of the optometrists in town. Hmmm, what about quality care? Is there a place for it here?

Am I off base with the profit motive here? Read on:

Kelly said the radiology company's customers will be top-paying patients who would otherwise get radiology work at the hospital.

"We will not support bringing in a private imaging company in our market," Kelly said. "They'll leave us the patients who can't pay or those on Medicaid."

Hospital revenue from radiology images helps offset the cost for patients who aren't able to afford medical care. The hospital is paid lower costs by Medicare and Medicaid patients.

"We have to generate enough revenue to take care of those who can't," Kelly said.

No, Kelly is clearly interested in making money. Well, I'm a red-blooded American and I'm all for making money too. So why not let Premier Radiology open a business here and compete? The truth is, Kelly is right, they would be left with nothing but the Medicaid patients and patients who can't pay; the people with the money would go to Premier Radiology. A leader, a true leader, would not be objecting to this move, he would be asking himself why he would be losing the business. Well I know the answer to that question--service.

Kelly wants his cake but he wants to eat it too. When times are tough he wants to be a public hospital and have the assurance of support by the tax payer. But when times are good he wants to make money to expand the facility and branch off into other fields, like health clubs. Perhaps he should install an optical shop too? Or maybe a health food store? And why not an oil change franchise too?

I hate it, but honestly, I believe there is a need for some new leadership at the hospital. I can only hope that Premier locates here and the hospital makes changes as a result. But in the meantime, the OCH administration will continue to cry foul, pout, and twist arms in closed-door meetings of boards. I really want to know what it was Kelly had to say about Premier that was so bad that he had to say it behind closed doors. It must have been good.

Dateline: Study (the ark)

It has rained so much in the last two hours or so I feel like I'm about to float away. Accuweather did not predict this!

Last night, after almost a week of flawless operation, my DSL problems returned. They are also back now. When you have close four hundred connection attempts in the matter of just a few hours, something is wrong, something is veeerry wrong. I called my ISP this morning and they are looking into it but they must rely on BellSouth, which took forever last time. It is begining to look I should have gone with cable a few weeks ago.

I did get to meet with some nice parents and students this morning and tonight. These are all in for the Invitational Senior Examination Program and accordingly have good grades and test scores. It is always nice meeting with this particular group because they are the future leaders, even if they do not know it yet.

One of our students was also elected as vice president of the National Association of Engineering Student Councils and replaces another of our students who currently holds that position. Once again, leaders!

DSL Fixed

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It took a little while but the BellSouth tech was finally convinced that there was indeed a problem and after several discussion between me, my ISP, him and his boos, he decided to switch ports for my line. Interestingly enough, the problem was fixed! Why it took some four weeks to get that done is a problem with technology and the people who work in the business.

There is too great a tendancy to blame someone/something else, in this case it was inside wiring. I had done plenty of troubleshooting and knew the wiring was not the problem. When you have a brand new wire running straight from the NID to the back of the modem with the line running into the house disconnected and the problem persists, the problem is not inside wiring.

I'm just thankful it's fixed and hopefully will stay fixed.

DSL Still Not working

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Looks like it will be cable modem tomorrow. DSL is still not working (lost my previous post) and I've reached my level of frustration. I realize the problem is with BellSouth and not with my ISP but it has been one full week and nothing has been done to fix the problem other than try to track people down. I promised I'd give them until Monday and I'll wait but I had better have a date that the service will be fixed or its cable broadband.


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Dateline: Home Study

Arrived home earlier this afternoon after a productive meeting in Annapolis. It looks like I'll be making two trips to Italy this summer for a total of about three weeks to dod some planning and then to do some work. It should be fun but there is a lot to be done. All the unit COs also had some good interaction and exchange.

Last night's sleep was fitful. Some very loud thunderstorms came rolling in during the night and woke me several times. I was also worried about alarms working properly becasue of the time change. I usually rely on my cell phone's alarm clock but was not sure if the time would change automatically in the service area i was in. It does at home but you never know when you're somewhere else. To be safe I left a wake up call thinking someone at the front desk would be able to change the clocks. Fortunately my cell phone did change time and woke me on time for the wake up call came one hour late.

My trip to BWI airport was fairly quick, not much traffic. I turned in the rental car and rode the bus to the terminal. I was hoping it would not be too crowded and it was a little busier than I anticiapted, but not too bad. Secuirity took a little time but not nearly as much as I first thought after seeing the line. If we are going to speed things up though, TSA has got to work out the shoe problem--it takes too long to put them on once you get through.

Delta left a little early from BWI and ASA actually left Atlanta on time (a rarity indeed) which meant I got in on time. I was able to fire up the lawn mower for the first time this year and it worked. I then cut the grass, uh, the weeds, before it even got dark. Hopefully the weeds will now die and the grass will grow. I also tried to do a little lawn repair where Mississippi Valley Gas dug a hole, broke drain tiles, and then put the dirt back in the hole. Funny, if I dig a hole and break one of their lines I'm in big trouble but they can break my drain line and it is my problem.

All in all, a productive weekend, a productive day, and hopefully a restful night.


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Dateline: Residence Inn, Annapolis, MD

I worked this morning in the office for a little while and took care of some things but much more is piled up. Spent most of the morning on the phone talking to people about school and scholarships. I did get teh paperwork signed off on for classes this summer and next fall. Will do some dissertation hours this summer then two classes in the fall which should be fun. I've been told by a classmate that one of the classes will be fun and should be too tough given my background so that'll be nice.

Left Starkville wih dark clouds rolling in. I knew the flight would be cancelled but we took off early, flew fast, and even landed early. The climb to altitude was one of the best rides I've had yet--lots of bumps and jumps. Weather in Atlanta was nicer so we took off on time and arrived at BWI early. I picked up the car that was arrancged by the Navy at Thrifty (I never seem to rent from the same place twice in a row) and drove to the hotel in Annapolis.

Tomorrow we'll have meetings and a VTC, then perhaps some networking tomorrow evening and head home Sunday morning. A quick trip but I think we will get a lot accomplished.

Watching the news about the Pope now. He has certainly made an impact on the world which makes it silly when people email news shows with questions like "I'm not Catholic but do you think the Pope spoke for all Christians or just the Catholics?" Makes you wonder what planet this person grew up on. Does President Bush speak for the entire United States or just the Republicans? People are truly amazing!

Still nothing on fixing my DSL so it is looking like cable early next week. My ISP asked if they could have until Monday and I agreed. The thing is that it is not their problem, the problem is hardware which belongs to BellSouth and since I do not have them as my ISP they are not too inclined to help much. I really hate to change because I've been with this ISP for somthing like 8 or 9 years but, if I can't get what I need then it is time to change. Four weeks is a little long to deal with this problem and I am more frustrated than ever.

I read Just War Against Terror by Jean Elshtain for a report that was due last Thursday and am now going through the book again. I found it to be very interesting that an academic belives in the war (at least did when she wrote the book). She makes some interesting points that I find refreshing and I really liked the part about how academics seem to think they can only be against something. I also to read another book by her for the class and that should be good as well.

Now, its off to bed. I'll leave the computer on playing the new tunes I picked up in the Airport, Ultra Chilled 05 by the ellusive "various artists" and The Cosmic Game by Thievery Corporation. So far it sounds like nice chillin' music.

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This page is an archive of entries from April 2005 listed from newest to oldest.

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