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COTA Thoughts

My CEO Makes How Much?

Published January 28, 2013 4:14 PM by Tim Banish
 

Just the other day I was talking with one of the nurses I work with, and we got into a discussion of wasted dollars in healthcare. One of the patients was upset because for three days in a row the lab nurse came to draw blood. Another patient was mad because they were being sent out to the hospital for a routine procedure that could have been done at the facility. However after she mentioned these wasted dollars, I mentioned the salary of some CEOs in the healthcare business.

 

That hit a nerve with this nurse, as she was unaware of the huge salaries many top healthcare executives make. This reminded me of a story from years ago where one CEO was chided by the board for having a flat profit margin for a few years. His decision to rectify this was to increase productivity standards for all the therapists by 5%. The next year at the annual board meeting he was awarded a 26% pay raise because company profits increased nearly $100 million. That brought his salary to $2.26 million a year! That's a big salary, but my main thought here is how many hours of therapy does it takes to meet that.

 

Today's CEOs are making larger salaries and receiving bonuses like never before. Of just the top seven publicly traded insurance providers salaries awarded last year totaled $87 million! The combined revenue of the near 1000 managed healthcare companies in the country topped more than $500 billion.

A majority of this cash comes from government funding such as Medicare and Medicaid. Yes the insurance companies dole out a good part of this too, but don't forget they have CEOs who are nicely compensated for their service.

 

Keeping salaries of top executives in check should be the first step to controlling healthcare costs. Not that I've ever worked that job, but how hard can it be to make a decision then have hundreds of your employees carry it out? And finally, when a corporations revenue increases who is responsible? As much as the CEO made the decision, it was the employees who did the work.

 

Until next time, hope all your "Thoughts" are Good-

Tim

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