Why do Healthcare Prices Keep Rising?

dr rick

The following is according to Becker’s Healthcare: Hospital CFO Report

Top HCA execs see boost in pay as profit grows
Ayla Ellison 

Nashville, Tennessee-based HCA Healthcare’s top executives, including its CEO, CFO and COO, saw their pay increase in 2018.

Milton Johnson, who  retired as the company’s CEO at the end of last year, was paid $21.4 million in 2018, nearly $4.2 million more than he earned in 2017, according to a recent Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

Several other members of HCA’s C-suite also received pay raises last year. Samuel Hazen, who served as president and COO before taking over as CEO Jan. 1, saw his total pay climb from $9.5 million in 2017 to $10 million in 2018. HCA Executive Vice President and CFO William Rutherford earned $6.8 million last year, up from $4.9 million in 2017.

The executives’ compensation increased as HCA’s bottom line grew. The company ended 2018 with a $3.8 billion profit on revenue of $46.7 billion. In 2017, HCA reported a profit of $2.2 billion on revenue of $43.6 billion.

I would imagine that reading this gives all patients pain in their abdomen. What is it like to look at figures like this when you are simply struggling to pay your health insurance premiums every month? Forget about food and house payments. No point in making those if you are not alive to enjoy them.

That sounds absolutely crazy doesn’t it. All of these millions of dollars of executive salaries are coming off the backs of their patients. Do you think they care? I sincerely doubt that any one of them has said, “I do not need to make millions of dollars knowing that some of our patients are near to committing suicide at the thought of not being able to insure and care for their families.” Why is it in America that money has suddenly become more important than caring for fellow man? When did health care become such a capitalistic endeavor that making money was more important than remaining the once proud altruistic, compassionate profession that American medicine once was. 

Maybe corporate America takes its cues from our government. Our government is the only one in the world that will not negotiate drug prices for its citizens. Who do you suppose got paid for making this sweetheart deal with big PHARMA? What reason could our president and Congress have for making this deal to drive spikes through the heart of its citizens simply so big PHARMA can rape the citizens of our country. Somebody someplace made money off this.

This is not simply a Democrat or Republican decision. Both parties made money. A very small percentage of our congressional leaders are not being paid by big PHARMA. 

This is perhaps the only thing both parties agree on. We entered congress to become powerful and make money. That is our goal and if we need to stand on the shoulders of those who elected us, so be it. So now senators and representatives let’s do what we are best at, making money and passing laws that provide it to us. The better we make the laws to accommodate big PHARMA, the more they will provide us through their beneficent lobbying practices. 

Ah yes, Congress stands by while an unsustainable healthcare system crushes the life out of its electorate, the very people who put them in office. 

God bless you all from the Maverick Doctor,

Rick R. Redalen, M.D.
Pick up a copy of my book God’s Tiniest Angel and the Last Unicorn, available on Amazon. Dr. Rick is a retired American physician, entrepreneur and philanthropist who has done mission work around the country and around the world. He is now on a mission to improve healthcare in America. Visit maverickdoctor.com or email him at info@maverickdoctor.com.