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Patients with red tags are immediately referred by Unit Managers to the Customer Relations Department who monitors their status and closely coordinates with the Accounting and Cashier Department for settlement and collection purposes. Once a patient has been classified as red tag, any procedure (therapeutic, diagnostic, laboratory, etc.) need to be immediately settled prior to the administration of the procedure, regardless of the necessity and the kind of the procedure to be undertaken. The rationale for this is to prevent further increases in the amount due to the hospital which might not be collected nor paid.
The patient regularly needs any of the abovementioned procedures to monitor her health progress and to identify and assess whether present medications need to be adjusted (increase or decrease in dosage and frequency of administration). However, since this patient was already classified as red tag, and since the daughter still needs to look for alternative sources of funds to settle the staggering amount, the required regular procedures could not be undertaken. In this regard, in the capacity of the Unit Manager, an ethical dilemma needs to be resolved through ethical theories and analytical thinking for recommendation to higher management in the hospital. The hospital with medical and ethical responsibilities to their patients has to assess their red tag policy in terms of contradicting conformity to ethical standards.
Given the scenario, the alternative courses of action, as recommended by the Unit Manager are available for both the hospital and the patient: (1) immediately transfer the patient to a room with the least cost (a ward or semi-private room) without compromising health benefits. By transferring the patient to a room with lower cost, all other hospital costs associated with the room transfer would be decreased; (2) seek the necessary financial assistance from health insurance (Medicaid,
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