On March 30, 2014, the Atlanta Journal and Constitution ran an interestingly revealing article entitled “Millions on the line for hospital CEO pay”. The article covered two topics that caught my eye. One was how much the hospital CEO’s in Atlanta are paid. And, the second issue was the apparent low priority for quality and safety for patient care.
My favorite observation by the author, Carrie Teegardin, on hospital CEO pay was “While my doctors have seen their incomes remain stagnant or shrink with changes in health care (Emory CEO) John Fox’s compensation has been rising. In 2009, his total was $2.2 million, two years later it had grown by more than a million” (to $3.4 million in estimated compensation).
Only a very small part of the hospital CEO pay includes incentives to increase quality in areas such as infection control. DeKalb Medical Center is a great example of how little emphasis goes towards quality. According to Ms. Teegardin, quality and safety goals at DeKalb were only 10% of the total bonus package goals for their CEO. 40% of the incentive program was for financial goals of reducing the budget.
My point here is simple. Where have our priorities gone in American Health Care? What is really disheartening to a healthcare provider such as me is that we haven’t even discussed the million dollar annual pay for the medical and dental insurance company CEOs and other executives. For example, the CEO of MetLife was paid over $7.0 million dollars in 2013.
There are so many layers in healthcare and so many more being added each year with the national health care agenda that the healthcare providers are being squeezed and squeezed again as they struggle to provide the best quality care for their patients while seeing reductions in compensation with increased volume demands. Financial goals and financial profit unrelated to the delivery of quality healthcare have American Healthcare on a slippery slope as the doctors, nurses and healthcare teams struggle to maintain an environment of safe, quality healthcare delivery.
At Artistic Dentistry of Atlanta, we have always charged very fair fees as we provide our patients with the highest quality dental care possible. We use only the finest products, dental labs and specialists. And, we have the most technologically advanced sterilization center and techniques in our office so that we can constantly keep our patients safe.
We appreciate the opportunity to extend our caring hands daily to you, your family and your friends as we face the daily changes and challenges in healthcare delivery today.
Thank you for entrusting us with your dental care. I assure you that quality and safety are our #1 concern at Artistic Dentistry of Atlanta.