Ascend Health and The Joint Commission

Posted: December 16, 2010 in Letters and Documentation

Today’s entry, boys and girls, is about UBH Denton’s parent company, Ascend Health.  I find this amusing:

“We focus on personal choice and specialized care. Our facilities provide high quality care…”  (from http://www.ascendhealth.net/about.html)

As we say in the south…. DO WHAT???  Are you kidding me?  Holding people against their will is personal choice?  $10 an hour mental health “techs” running supposed therapy groups is “high-quality” care?  Oh my.  These people need to have their heads examined…  (get it?  haha)

“Accredited by the Joint Commission…”

Has anyone ever actually asked what the Joint Commission is?  Well, go look it up.  They say this about themselves:

“An independent, not-for-profit organization, The Joint Commission accredits and certifies more than 18,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. Joint Commission accreditation and certification is recognized nationwide as a symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to meeting certain performance standards.”  (see http://www.jointcommission.org/about_us/about_the_joint_commission_main.aspx)

Now I’d like to just ask a simple question.  Who is funding this commission?  I guarantee you it’s the hospitals themselves (if I’m wrong, I invite the Joint Commission to contact me with clarification).  Now follow the bucks, people.  You cannot be “independent” if you’re funded by the organizations you police.  Inherent conflict of interest.  A very bad thing.

So my conclusion is that being certified by the Joint Commission is like your mom promising you that you’re beautiful and smart–she’s not exactly the most objective source you can ask on that subject.

Here’s maybe my favorite of all…. a picture of the facilities.

I was in that god-for-saken place and there was certainly NO pool, and NO workout room.  (Or maybe they just didn’t let me see it since I wasn’t “participating” in my treatment?”)  In 6 days I think we went to an exercise class ONCE.  I even asked the other inmates about exercise, could we go for a walk or something, and one of them just laughed at me.  He said, “Where do you think you are, a country club?”  As my letter pointed out, there was no recreation and no exercise, unless of course you count lighting cigarettes in a tiny little courtyard four or five times a day.  And since cigarettes were what started this whole thing in the first place for me… I wasn’t going down that path!
For the record, no, I didn’t think I was in a country club.  But I had a friend who went to a $25,000 per month rehab program a month or so earlier.  He got to go on field trips and go bowling and stuff.  They were billing my insurance company $1,700 a day, and collecting at least $800 of that.  You do the math and tell me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure they could afford to take me bowling at least once.

But NO!  Wait… remember, this is about RETURNS, not about patient welfare.  Just read their words here:

“The majority of our hospitals are de novo developments that are generating high returns.”

Look, I understand profit.  I really do.  But not when your profit becomes all about taking advantage of my insurance company.  Especially at MY expense.

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Comments
  1. Michael Schwarz says:

    The things we never think about and the questions we never ask…amazing!

  2. […] now, guess who owns Mayhill? The same Quack Shack company that owns UBH Denton! I got this little nugget of joy from […]

  3. Tired of Incompetence says:

    The Joint Commission is no joke. Hospitals spend thousands of hours and dollars to satisfy them. If the Joint Commission removes accreditation, and they will, the hospital will have to close. Don’t down play their mission. If you want to close Mayhill complain to the Joint Commission. They will investigate and enough investigations will acquire the evidence needed to shut it down.

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