When Non-Profits Only Care About the Money

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On Facebook I shared a post about some tax changes that are being made to churches and non-profit institutions. The debate that started, made me think about my own experience working for a non-profit organization and I wanted to share a little bit of that here. For around 6 months or so, I worked for a non-profit religious hospital system. My job was to be one of the people in the emergency department who collected patient information (especially insurance information) and processed payments.

From the beginning, it was drilled into us that it was about the money. We were hounded to make sure we collected certain percentages of money from patients while they were still there in the building, whether they could afford it or not. We were encouraged to apply pressure to them to pay at least a percentage that day, regardless of their personal circumstances. Although patients could legally ask to be billed later, we were told to NEVER tell them that, and only offer that option if they brought it up first.

We were told bluntly that the hospital had to make sure to look like they were doing enough “public outreach” to keep their non-profit tax status, so when they did run public assistance programs we were told to advertise them when talking to patients. It became clear that they didn’t necessarily do programs for the poor because they CARED about them, it was so they could continue to get the tax breaks and other non-profit advantages. I heard so much negative talk there about Medicaid patients and the poor. I was also told flat out that the company was purposefully looking into opening more locations in areas where the people were more likely to pay, and closing locations where the populations were poorer.

One huge issue I had was that even when someone was brought to the ER and died, we were pressured to try to get money from their grieving relatives. More than once, those in charge actually chose not to tell family members that their loved one had passed away until AFTER we collected insurance information and copays/deductible payments. They would send us in, and we would know the family’s loved one was gone, but we were told to lie and pretend we knew nothing. This killed me to have to do. One time a lady begged me for information on her husband who was dead, and I couldn’t tell her anything. I also struggled to go up to a mother whose child has just tried to commit suicide and ask her for money. I felt like scum.

In the end, I couldn’t keep this job due to my own health issues, but I couldn’t have kept doing it with a clear conscience either.

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Writing Prompt: What Would Your Happy Ending Look Like?

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For a while I’ve been wanting to start posting occasional writing prompts to my blog. Just a question or two or a spark of an idea to hopefully inspire you guys to take up your pen/pencils/keyboard and write out your thoughts and feelings. Even if you aren’t a writer by profession like myself, writing out your ideas, beliefs, and emotions can be extremely therapeutic. I plan to post the prompt itself and then do a short writing response myself to the prompt to hopefully inspire you further or help you get to know me even better. So today’s prompt is…

What would you envision as a happy ending to your own life?

My response: If I could plan the perfect ending to my life, it would look something like this: Most importantly, I would die loved and surrounded by people who will genuinely miss me. I hate to think of hurting people by leaving when they want me to stick around, but it is much better than the alternative of dying all alone and having either no one to care or having a funeral where only the officiator shows up.

Secondly, I would like to go out a success. What does that mean to me? Not being rich necessarily, although it would mean not dying penniless or homeless or from starvation and lack of medical care. I would have enough resources to meet my needs and a few pleasures on a regular basis. I would die having left a large positive impact on the world, being respected for what I did, inspiring others to be more creative and compassionate, and having contributed to helping many people think about important things more thoroughly and reasonably.

Lastly, a good death to me would mean that all the people and things I loved and leave behind (family, friends, books, toys) will all have found good homes of their own and others who appreciate and love them as much as I did.

A Chance to Support a New Children’s Book Publisher!

Hello everyone! Just a quick post today to share a new YouTube video from my toy & book channel. In this video I had the pleasure to support a new children’s book publisher who I am proud to even have an affiliate link with! “Grandpa and Me” is a fun family tale that teaches the value of hard work and persistence. Watch the video below to find out more!

Here is the affiliate link if you would like to check out the book further yourself or even order a copy: www.http://salutations365.com/affiliate-marandas-toys-and-books-036/.