Letters to the editor for April 8

April 7, 2014 

We need more competition

One can hope that Carolinas HealthCare Services decides to once again challenge the state administrative law judge’s decision to award the hospital construction decision to Piedmont Medical Center.

Without getting into the assumed territorial aspects of the outrageous years-long decision process (good ol’ boy network), one must question the obvious: How do we, York County, state of South Carolina and U.S. citizens take back control of our health care and opportunities for obtaining truly competitive service, with our choice of doctors to reduce costs of health care insurance, co-pays and pharmaceutical drugs?

Having been a cost containment, value evaluator in the highly competitive steel manufacturing industry, I was left mouth agape when this judge specified that one of the key reasons for awarding (reversing) a previous award decision to CHS was “that a Carolinas HealthCare hospital would cause PMC economic harm, reduce the number of PMC patients and affect the Rock Hill hospital’s ability to provide quality heath care.”

Wow! I thought that healthy, rigorous competition for consumers’ revenues – or is it government/insurance companies’ revenues – would hold down and reduce health care costs for all. Oops, maybe competition is indeed a concern to sustain PMC/Tenant as a for-profit corporation.

There’s an old story where one lawyer in a town is starving with less revenues, but when another lawyer moves into town they both thrive – ostensibly drumming up competition.

For my health care buck, I will go to CMC in either Pineville or Steele Creek locations.

Last point, until we as consumers are aware of costs (and not just ex-post facto from our insurance companies), demand your doctor’s fully transparent service price charges, those for procedures at medical centers, hospitals, etc.

We will never be in charge of our own health and its costs to all of us. We deserve what we allow to happen by being benign and ignorant.

Terence Durso

Fort Mill

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