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Expensive Health Care Due to Hospitals Paying Executives High Bonuses
I used to think of hospitals as non-profit organizations that were understanding and compassionate. But sadly, over time I realized that was not always the case; words like understanding and compassion flew out the window when I saw patients or their families nearly in tears because a collection agent was belittling them about not being able to pay their bill; all the while a fat cat is down the hall sitting behind a fancy mahogany desk counting the days until they collect their bonus. As far as the hospital being a non-profit organization; well, I guess it’s easy to be considered non-profit when you are paying out huge bonuses and salaries to executives.
In 2009 a healthcare group in North Carolina made public the salaries and bonuses of its top executives. The Chief Executive of one hospital received almost $2 million in bonuses, over $900,000 in base salary, plus $543,000 for retirement, health benefits and other compensation. Follow the links below to read articles about some of the top paid executives and how the hospital justifies it.
Don’t get me wrong, I do realize that the bosses, CEOs or whatever their title may be have stressful jobs, but I ask is it more stressful than nurses? The average salary for North Carolina RNs ranges around $73,000.
Not to get off the subject of health care but just for comparison a Teacher in North Carolina with a bachelors degree and 32 years of experience makes around $52,550. The link listed immediately below shows the public school salaries for North Carolina. This information was a lot easier to come by than that of the hospital executives. It almost seems as if the hospitals have something to be ashamed of; then again, maybe they do because 2 million in bonuses seems like a large amount to pay just one person. Many of us would like to make that much money but who really needs that much?
Now with the health care reform and the governments concern of lowering the cost of health care I’m surprised that the substantial bonuses and salaries that some hospitals pay out have not been in the media more and if the subject does become popular with the media, will it do any good or will the hospitals continue to justify these outrages amounts.
So in closing there are a few things that I’m left to wonder about: how much help does the government really plan on giving when it comes to lowering health care cost? Would some of the cost not be lowered if these obscene bonuses and salaries were scaled back? And last but not least; where do hospitals get the large sums of money needed to pay these bonuses and salaries? Do they pass the buck to insurance companies and therefore make health insurance so high that many can not afford coverage?