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Tuesday, December 27, 2005

How MGH Executives Think

An article in this morning’s Boston Globe under the byline of Christopher Rowland reported that Controlled Risk Insurance Company, malpractice carrier for a number of Harvard teaching hospitals, had given out several grants to support risk prevention studies.

One grant of $50,000 went to Dr. Shan Liu, an Emergency Physician at Massachusetts General Hospital, to support a study of risks associated with long patient stays in the emergency rooms of MGH and its affiliated hospitals.

It prompted me to compare the size of the grant with the annual expenditures by MGH which, according to data published by the American Hospital Association, were $1,670,451,000 in 2004.

One would think that if there was reason to suspect that operational problems in its emergency room might be putting patients at risk, MGH might have invested $50,000 of its own money in an investigation of the matter.

But apparently that is not how MGH executives think.

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