By Consumers for Quality Care, on August 30, 2023
Stephanie Arnold, M.D, details her experience in The American Prospect of working in multiple medical settings and seeing up close how the health care system and hospitals continue to put profits over patients.
In the article, Dr. Arnold outlines her medical professional journey, from working in an urgent care facility to her first residency, providing a glimpse into how the health care industry has become “progressively worse every year” and shows the lengths to which the industry will go to cut corners at the expense of consumers.
Dr. Arnold began medical school in 2011, two years after the landmark Affordable Care Act was signed into law, yet she quickly found herself with an insider view into the “broader system breakdown” of the industry.
Starting in urgent care, Dr. Arnold saw the impact of America’s broken health care system with patients who should have been admitted to hospital emergency rooms but chose urgent care out of fear of receiving massive medical bills. As an urgent care physician, Dr. Arnold diagnosed cancer, pulmonary embolisms, and even a rare pediatric heart condition. While she was grateful to be able to treat these patients who were not able to receive care at a hospital due to cost, she also found this to be depressing, as many of these conditions could have been caught earlier with better outcomes and for far cheaper.
After the urgent care experience, Dr. Arnold began her first residency at a hospital run by a private equity firm. This was where she fully grasped the measures to which these facilities would go to put profit margins before the patients they were serving. The corporatization of medicine and the “utilization” of health care has provided Dr. Arnold with a firsthand understanding of just how far the entire system will go to maximize profits at the expenses of consumers.
Today, Dr. Arnold is working to build a practice in which she can provide the sort of high-quality, reasonably priced health care that all Americans should have access to. CQC applauds Dr. Arnold for sharing her unique perspective on how broken and inefficient the American health care system is and her work to put patients over profits. We are deeply concerned with the personal stories Dr. Arnold highlighted of people skipping critical care and treatment, and how profits have constantly been put ahead of patients. CQC urges lawmakers, regulators, and other stakeholders to fix this deeply broken system and put patients before profits.