When I first learned of Mark Haganman’s summary dismissal from the staff of the Mitchell County Regional Health Center-Hospital, my first reaction, based upon 43 years in the practice of Law, was that he must have committed a serious breach of a medical standard of care. The imposed secrecy by the Administrator and the Board of Directors of the hospital supported that conclusion.
However, my next reaction postulated that somehow it involved an issue over money. Why, you ask, would I have had that thought?
A few years ago, my wife Adriane was being treated for a near fatal cancer at the Mayo Clinic. Part of that treatment involved a series of drug injections on a rigid schedule. The treating physician suggested that she need not return to Rochester each time, but rather that she could seek the treatment locally either in Austin or Mason City. We chose Mason City and the Mercy Medical Center-North Iowa, and a prescription was issued.
When we arrived at the hospital and checked in the desk clerk remarked, “That’s the pricey one!” I thought it a bit odd at the time, but when I saw the billing for $12,600, I understood the comment.
I decided to do a little investigation of the charge and called our son, Todd, a physician on staff in Indianapolis. He contacted the hospital pharmacy and learned their cost per dose was $2,200. We later learned the charge for the injection in Austin was $6,000 and at the Mayo Clinic, $4,000.
This brush with the Sisters of Mercy got them a frontpage story in the Des Moines Sunday Register. Their response was that we just didn’t understand medical economics!
I like to refer to them as “The Sisters of Perpetual Cash Flow”.
Over the past 30 years, Mark Haganman has provided this community with outstanding professional care. He should be reinstated on staff and receive a public apology from the Sisters.
Keith and Adriane McKinley