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Closing the Chemotherapy/Outpatient Clinic In Las Vegas and nowhere to go – University Medical Center

Posted Apr 06 2009 7:50pm

2000 patients received a letter telling them there will be no more chemo therapy.  If you are poor enough, you are ok as there is Medicaid to help take care of the poor and obviously if you are rich, there’s no issue, but the middle class is who is stuck, those who lost jobs and were making between 30-50k a year and now have no insurance. 

This is one of the worst scenarios of the Desperate Hospital Series that I do every month and this hospital will be on the list. 

This is sad, so sad and to think it all revolves around money and budgets.  The UMC outpatient center closed and one doctor set up his own area to keep helping patients who give what they can.  What was really sad was to see the medical company come and take away the bed and the wheelchair the one woman needed to have at home who could no longer get chemotherapy, and again she “had” insurance and 60 minutes had to call to get her insurance re-instated.  The CEO states this could be happening at many public hospitals, but in Las Vegas it is at it’s worst.  BD 

(CBS) In the economic crisis, public hospitals are needed now more than ever. If you're down on your luck without insurance, the county hospital can be your last resort.
Recently thousands of letters went out across Las Vegas telling cancer patients that the only public hospital in the state was closing its outpatient clinic for chemotherapy.
It's the next thing in the recession - communities cutting back on services like schools or cops or public hospitals because tax revenues have fallen with the economy.
One of the charity patients who got that letter in Las Vegas is Helen Sharp, who didn't realize how a crash on Wall Street might threaten her life.

"Dear patient, we regret to inform you that the Nevada Cancer Institute will no longer provide contract oncology services at University Medical Center," Sharp read.

Literally overnight, UMC's budget was cut by $21 million."And we were already scheduled or budgeted to lose $51 million. And so, when you layered on $21 million on top of that, that brought our loss, or anticipated loss, to $72 million," Silver told Pelley.

The Recession's Impact: Closing The Clinic - CBS News

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