Healthcare Workers Launch Radio Ad Highlighting Patient Infections, High Prices at Stanford Hospital

[March 19, 2018] OAKLAND, Calif. – Healthcare workers are stepping up their campaign to control patient infection problems and high prices at Stanford University Medical Center with a radio ad buy that began being broadcast today on 11 Bay Area radio stations.

“As Stanford Health Care has expanded in the Bay Area, they’ve lost track of the basics like preventing patient infections,” said the narrator in the 60-second ad. “Patients shouldn’t have to worry about contracting infections when treated at Stanford Hospital.”

The radio spot will air on the following stations: KCBS-AM, KGO-AM, KLLC-FM, KOIT-FM, KIOI-FM, KNBR-AM, KISQ-FM, KBAY-FM, KRTY-FM, KEZR-FM and KKIQ-FM.

From 2013 through 2016, nearly 700 patients acquired C. diff. in Stanford University Medical Center, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. C. diff. is an infection which may cause diarrhea, severe abdominal pain, kidney failure, and death. In addition, during fiscal years 2016 through 2018, Stanford placed in the bottom 25 percent of the nation’s hospitals for hospital acquired conditions and penalized the facility.

In December 2017, healthcare workers filed ballot initiatives to limit patient overcharging in five Bay Area cities where Stanford Health Care operates facilities: Palo Alto, Emeryville, Livermore, Pleasanton and Redwood City. Under the proposed initiatives, healthcare facilities in those communities would be limited from charging patients more than 15 percent above the actual cost of providing care.

Stanford University Medical Center charges considerably more than other hospitals in California for some of the same services, reported the California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development. For example, it charges nearly $73,000 more than the statewide average to treat a patient for alcohol or drug abuse, $60,000 more to treat a patient with kidney failure, and nearly $46,000 more to treat a patient with chest pain.

More than 1,800 Stanford University Medical Center employees are members of SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW). The radio ad is meant to raise awareness about working conditions at the hospital and create a safe and healthy working environment for its members.

Paid for by Service Employees International Union United Healthcare Workers West Political Issues Committee, 560 Thomas L. Berkley Way, Oakland, CA 94612.

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