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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

July 1, 2013 at 7:00 PM

Hospital CEO salaries based on volume, not value

CEOs should not benefit from doctors’ work

As retired physician, I was shocked at the salaries paid to hospital CEOs, which were discussed in the recent article in The Seattle Times. [“Hospitals reward CEOs for profits over care,” page one, June 30.]

In general, these excessive salaries and bonuses appear to be tied primarily to profit margins, increased numbers of procedures and hospital admissions. I don’t know of any hospital CEO that plays a direct role in the numbers of procedures, surgeries or admissions.

There was vague mention of using “quality” as a criteria for their reimbursement. How this was factored in was not explained. There was no mention of tying their bonuses or salary to patient outcomes, reduction of medical and medication errors, readmission rates within 30 days of discharge or other accepted outcomes criteria.

There is a lot of bloat in the current hospital system, and reducing expenses through smarter purchasing and better contracting can help the bottom line. That seems to be the only area where a hospital administrator can have a direct impact on profit. Why should a hospital CEO benefit from busy surgeons’ schedules?

I think the hospital boards that pay these CEOs excessively at a time when so many citizens have no insurance are not justified, nor is it in the best interest of the public, who are their “customers.”

Jim Brown, Wenatchee

Comments | More in Economy, Health care, Politics | Topics: CEO, cost, economy

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