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Selling Our SoulsThe Commodification of Hospital Care in the United States$
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Adam D. Reich

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780691160405

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691160405.001.0001

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(p.171) Chapter Nine Partnership
Selling Our Souls

Adam D. Reich

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines how GroupCare Hospital expressed its commitment to reducing uncertainty in health care not only in the way that it managed its doctors but also in the partnerships it worked to establish among different constituencies within the organization. Thoughout GroupCare, the language of partnership abounded—patients “partnered” with the organization, physicians “partnered” with one another, and nurses and ancillary workers “partnered” with doctors and managers. The logic—at least according to administrators—was that the mitigation of status distinctions allowed the organization to evolve into a “culture of continuous improvement.” The chapter also considers the limits of rationalization at GroupCare as well as the labor-management partnership at the hospital. Finally, it explains how GroupCare used the language and practices of “partnership” as a strategy for securing a compliant workforce, noting that there was a certain egalitarianism among different constituencies within the organization.

Keywords:   partnerships, GroupCare Hospital, health care, patients, physicians, rationalization, labor-management partnership, egalitarianism

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