Nonprofit hospital makes billions…

America’s hospitals have been growing. The bigger they get, the more power they have — to set prices and force insurers to pay more. Patients foot the bill via higher premiums, copays, and deductibles. It’s one factor behind the nation’s increasing health care costs…. According to an audited financial statement, UPMC made $948 million in profits from 2011-2012. And while tax returns show it spends just two percent of its yearly budget on charity care….

Jeffrey Romoff, makes almost $6 million a year. That makes him the highest paid CEO of any large nonprofit hospital in the U.S., according to a recent analysis by TIME. Romoff also has more than a dozen administrators that take in annual salaries of over $1 million, and according to the city, he has access to a private chef, chauffeur, and a jet, as well as one of the most expensive office spaces in Pittsburgh…. “I think they’re going to be hard pressed to prove how they’re operating the same way as the Little Sisters of the Poor or the Catholic Church, true genuine nonprofits. UPMC? I’m afraid not,” Ravenstahl told “CBS This Morning.”

Source: Nonprofit hospital makes billions: Should it get a tax break? – CBS News.

I have been volunteering for a non-profit homeless shelter for over nine years now and the above descriptions show absolutely no similarity to any of the words above. We serve thousands in the local community each year on a shoe-sting budget, often wondering where the money will come from to stay open.  To hear of a corporation declaring a non-profit status while paying multi-million dollar salaries and gaudy perks is simply unconscionable to me. Forgetting all that how can a “non-profit” company declare almost a $billion in profits???

I have been collecting numerous articles about healthcare costs over the last few months and it seems that hospital costs are a major reason for the ever-increasing burden on all of us. There is little or no consistency on what each charges for similar procedures. There doesn’t seem to be much of an austerity mentality when it comes to hospital buildings and salaries.  Where I do see similarities is between hospital accountability and military expenses accountability. In other words there is little to no accountability in either one.

I do applaud the fact that President Obama was able to get a meager advance toward universal healthcare but where the focus should now be  is on cost containment. Get that in line and more coverage can be provided.  The simplest and most often used solution for healthcare cost containment is single-payer system. Much of the rest of the world discovered that decades ago and therefore don’t begin to be burdened with run-away costs as we are.  Since we stubbornly refuse to use the tried-and-true solution we will have to find something else.

Why aren’t my fiscally conservative friends in Washington screaming for that to happen.  The only solution they seem to see is to cut back on how many can get healthcare. Their only solution is to kill Obamacare and then attempt to do the same with Medicaid and Medicare and that as usual is no solution at all!