Researchers suggest that many angioplasties and implanted cardiac pacemaker surgeries done in the United States each year are medically unwarranted. The additional risk to patients’ health posed by these surgeries and the high cost of health care that result are an obvious concern to those who are trying to balance the risks and benefits in health care decisions. However, the financial stakes are very high because Boston Scientific Corp. and Johnson & Johnson and other companies that make pacemakers and the stents for angioplasties earn significant profits on them. In addition, these cardiac-related surgeries help make cardiac units some of the most profitable responsibility centers in hospitals.
a. The paragraph above states that cardiac surgery is a profit center for hospitals. List three or four other profit centers that might be found in a hospital. List at least three cost centers.
b. Write a short paragraph identifying the ethical issues that are related to designating a surgery procedure as a “profit center.” Consider how these problems could be avoided within the responsibility center framework.