Wednesday, June 27, 2012

M.D. goes to local health center

This morning's Northwest Herald reports that Dr. Elizabeth McMasters, a psychiatrist at Family Service and Community Mental Health Clinic, which closes Saturday, will move to the McHenry Health Center. The McHenry Health Center will be adding psychiatric services to its menu of services.

The McHenry Health Center can be reached at 815.363.9900. It is located at 3901 Mercy Drive. This is on the east side of Route 31, south of Bull Valley Rd. and directly east of NIMC (now called Centegra Hospital-McHenry).

Get a load of this patient load. The paper says she'll see 600-800 clients (don't doctors see "patients"?) a year, "entailing 5,100-5,200 visits". Assuming Dr. McMasters will take four weeks' vacation a year and another four weeks for CEUs, what does that leave for client time (not even counting paperwork time)?

600 patients in 44 weeks is 14/week; manageable
800 patients in 44 weeks is 18/week.
But these numbers are if a patient just comes in once a year, which does not happen.

Now look at her weekly load of appointments:

If she is expected to conduct 5,100 appointments in 44 weeks, that's 115/week. Let's say she works 45 hours/week. That's 2.5 appointments/hour - every hour, and that is impossible.

What kind of clinic manager ever creates that type of expectation? If Dr. McMasters isn't already looking for a new job or to open her own private practice, by August 1st she will be.

The newspaper has continued to carry the propaganda that Family Service is closing in part because the State of Illinois was behind $850,000 in payments. While that's true, no one is asking what the rest of the picture is? What "part" does the $850,000 play? Was the $850,000 only a small part of the financial reason for Family Service's shutdown?

The worst part of the question is why no one is asking it.

1 comment:

mchenry.taxpayer said...

waiting for someone to figure out how much taxpayer $ was funneled to Family Service, and presumably lost, in the last 10 years... and why other agencies with the exact same funding delay are not all collapsing... particularly important as rumors suggest that yet another agency based elsewhere is being courted to try to reinvent Family Service, presumably with some of the same leaders - Family Service did much good, but if its not sustainable without disproportionate infusions of public $, maybe the question is why aren't we focusing more on supporting local agencies that are successfully adapting to the current financial realities than trying to rebuild the titanic rather than sending our money to outside counties or trying to rebuild the titanic, regardless of if it provided good service for a (now past) season....