Radio Ad Blasts Excessive Pay of MA Hospital CEOs
Nicholas Handy, GoLocalWorcester.com, 6/12/14
A radio advertisement was launched on Wednesday blasting hospital CEOs in Massachusetts for their excessive salaries and compensation packages, while also pointing out the millions of dollars stashed in accounts in the Cayman Islands.
The advertisement was released while hospital CEOs gather together at the Chatham Bars Inn for the Massachusetts Hospital Association annual meeting in an effort to show the disconnect between hospital CEOs and their desire to provide adequate patient care.
“I don’t mind that they are having an annual meeting,” said David Schildmeier, a spokesperson for the Massachusetts Nurses Association. “I have a problem with the other things happening at this meeting. They are playing golf and having lavish receptions on the taxpayers’ dime while these hospital CEOs continue to gut their staffs and cut programs that help with patient care.”
The radio advertisement was developed by the Massachusetts Nurses Association and was sponsored by the Committee for Transparency and Fairness in the Use of Taxpayer Funds by Hospitals.
A Call for Transparency
The goal of the radio advertisement is to push for greater transparency among the hospital CEOs in Massachusetts, which could be done at a legislative level with House Bill 3844, labeled the “Hospital Profit Transparency and Fairness Act.”
The Hospital Profit Transparency and Fairness Act would require hospitals that are receiving tax dollars to disclose how large their profit margins are, how much money is held in offshore accounts, and how much money their CEOs are compensated.
According to a study completed by the Massachusetts Nurses Association, seven out of ten doctors in the Commonwealth support this legislation because it would help to protect funding for valuable patient care services. In addition, 58-percent of doctors have seen hospitals cut valuable services in order to increase profit margins.
“We aren’t saying that money stashed in accounts on the Cayman Islands is inappropriate; they might have a valid reason for it being there,” said Schildmeier. “This is not a private industry; their job is to serve the public. If the amount of money in these accounts is appropriate and warranted, then why do these hospitals have such a problem with telling the public how much is there?”
Too Small a Sample Size
While the findings of the survey certainly suggest that doctors favor the legislation, Tim Genz, the Executive Vice President of the Massachusetts Hospital Association, believes that the sample size – 100 doctors – is much too small to find the survey credible.
In speaking with doctors around Massachusetts himself, Genz believes that many doctors do not favor this legislation. In addition, Genz says that putting money into offshore accounts is standard practice for all businesses and corporations, not just hospitals.
“The use of offshore accounts is standard practice for hospitals,” said Genz. “Hospitals use this technique so that they can fund malpractice insurance. It saves the hospitals a considerable amount of money, all of which is able to go to additional patient care.”
Related Slideshow: Central MA Non-Profit Hospital CEO Pay, From Least To Most
Here are the total annual compensation amounts for the CEOs of the four non-profit hospital groups in Central Massachusetts. The source is each hospital group’s latest available 990 Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax, which is filed with the IRS and available at Guidestar.org. The CEOs are shown here from lowest to highest total compensation.
#4 Winfield Brown
President and CEO, Heywood Healthcare, with campuses in Athol and Gardner
Note: Henry Heywood Memorial Hospital and Athol Memorial Hospital merged in January 2013 to form Heywood Health Care. Brown, who had been president and CEO of Athol Memorial, became head of Heywood Health Care in August 2011. Daniel Moen, who had been president and CEO of Henry Heywood Memorial, was terminated in January 2011. His total compensation for fiscal 2011 was $993,456.
#3 Edward Moore
President and CEO, Harrington Memorial Hospital, Southbridge
#2 Francis Saba
CEO, Milford Regional Medical Center, Milford
#1 John O'Brien
Former President and CEO, UMass Memorial Health Care, with campuses in Worcester, Clinton, Leominster, Marlboro and Palmer
Note: John O’Brien retired as president and CEO in January 2013. Dr. Eric Dickson, MD, became the new president and CEO the following month. The UMass Memorial news release announcing Dickson’s appointment did not include his compensation package. According to UMass Memorial’s latest available 1099 form, Dickson received a total of $650,589 in compensation during the fiscal year that ended September 30, 2012.Back to News »