On her way into the meeting, Cuddy has a confrontation with another doctor. This time it's Dr. Dave Thomas, who, along with founding Wendy's, is PPTH's Chief of Surgery. And he just had to deal with Dr. Crybaby moaning about House for twenty minutes, so he's a little sick of House and how PPTH caters to his every whim while he can't get a replacement for Chase, who he says House "stole" from him. Well, maybe if you hadn't forced Chase to do like every single surgery then he wouldn't rather work for House than you, Dave. He says that if Cuddy doesn't stop putting out House's fires and start "doing [her] damn job," she'll be looking for a new Chief of Surgery. Cuddy just lets him talk to her like this. Weak.
Cuddy enters the conference room, where the various suits and one whose lab coat tells us that he is a doctor ask for details on what Dr. Dave's damage was. Mind your own business, Dr. Nosy. With that, they get down to business: the pending deal with GEHI Co. Cuddy updates them on her "final offer" and accompanying 3 pm termination ultimatum. No one is pleased with this, least of all Dr. Nosy, who says PPTH will be out of business in three months if they don't take GEHI Co. insurance. The only other conference attendee who gets lines says that Cuddy's 12% increase request when GEHI Co. was only offering them 4% is kind of insane. Cuddy doesn't think 12% is a problem for GEHI Co., pointing out that they're giving more than that to other hospitals who aren't nearly as good as PPTH. "In a perfect world, that would definitely matter," the suit says. That guy is cool. Let's have an episode all about his life next, please. I do like how Cuddy has the nerve to say that PPTH is such a great hospital when its employees are literally freezing each other (and their patients) out of operating rooms. If PPTH is one of the best-rated hospitals in the state with that standard of care, then I weep for New Jersey. Cuddy seems to think that GEHI Co. needs PPTH in its network to be able to convince potential customers that its coverage is the best. HA! Cuddy seems to be under the mistaken impression that people have a choice when it comes to health insurance providers. For most people in this country, your insurance dictates where you receive care, not vice versa. For instance, when the hospital my surgeon wanted to do my tonsillectomy at wasn't in my health insurance company's network, I just asked to have the surgery performed at a hospital that was. And I found that surgeon in the first place by looking through my health insurance company's list of in-network doctors. Not to mention that if GEHI Co. subscribers are that desperate for PPTH care, they can simply go to the Clinic for free. "They need us," Cuddy says of GEHI Co. "No. We need them," says Dr. Nosy. "We need each other," says the suit. He pauses so some random woman can nod wisely, then ends the meeting with a final offer of his own: if Cuddy terminates PPTH's contract with GEHI Co., then the board will terminate her. Cuddy manages to look confident until she reaches an empty elevator, at which point she allows herself to look slightly terrified and very tired.
Cuddy tries to return to her office, but first she must deal with Nurse Assistant, who tattles on House for not showing up to Clinic duty. Instead of being a boss and ordering House to stop napping and start working, Cuddy does House's work for him, because apparently she just doesn't have enough to do. Her patient, an older gentleman, announces that he has cancer, and the only cure for it is breast milk. Not more cowbell? For some strange reason, the patient's oncologist won't write him a prescription for it. Um, is breast milk even able in a prescription? I'm pretty sure I've never seen it in my pharmacy before. "It has cancer-fighting qualities," the patient claims. He thinks that all he needs is a prescription and then he'll be able buy it from the local breast milk shop and his insurance will reimburse him. "They have no choice but to pay!" he thinks. HAHAHAHA! WRONG! Cuddy tries to school him, but he only gets angry at her, accusing her of trying to help his insurance company screw him over after he's paid premiums for thirty years and "never been sick a day in [his] life" until he got cancer. Now he can't work and that means he can't pay for breast milk unless it'll be reimbursed by his health insurance company. Seriously, how expensive can breast milk be? Cow milk at Trader Joe's is less than two bucks for a half gallon. This guy is going to the wrong breast milk stores. He demands that Cuddy give him his goddamn breast milk. Go ahead and do it, Cuddy. It won't be your problem when he gets turned down for the reimbursement on something he already paid full price for. But she refuses, so he calls her a bitch and leaves. Way to get way too angry with someone who's trying to help you out with your weird breast milk obsession, guy.
Cuddy emerges from the exam room and hopefully asks Nurse Assistant if anyone called for her. Someone did, but it's not Eli. Instead, there's some problem in the ER because one of the on-call doctors doesn't actually have privileges at PPTH. Yes, the best hospital in New Jersey has doctors in its ER that aren't allowed to practice. Cuddy tells Nurse Assistant to call Dr. Arochefsky and have her fill in, saying she's bound to agree because she owes Cuddy a favor. We will never find out what all that's about, so who cares? Also, there's some lawyer-type guy in Cuddy's office that Nurse Assistant just let wander in there because he didn't want to wait outside with "a bunch of sick people." That, and he probably got creeped out by the guy sitting next to him who kept talking about breast milk. Next time, Cuddy, lock your office.
The very lawyerly-named lawyer, Ronald Westbrook, represents a former PPTH patient named Martin Acevedo, which is Spanish for "Ungrateful Bastard." He's suing PPTH and Chase for performing surgery on him without his consent. Cuddy says she saw the signed consent forms with her own two eyes. Westbrook says Martin signed under the belief that he'd just be getting stitches to close the wound where his thumb used to be before he accidentally cut it off with a table saw. Instead, Chase re-attached his thumb like an asshole.