State House Hearing Scheduled for June 3 on the Hospital Profit Transparency and Fairness Act
Join Other Nurses and Health Care Advocates in Promoting Our Bill to Ensure Taxpayer Dollars are Dedicated Exclusively to Safe Care and Needed Services for All Communities
When: Wednesday, June 3, 2015 at 11 a.m.
Where: Room B2, State House, Boston
The Health Care Financing Committee will hold its hearing on one of our key bills, The Hospital Profit Transparency and Fairness Act (S623/H979), a measure that will require hospitals to be transparent about their financial holdings (including millions of dollars stashed in offshore accounts), and will limit and claw back excessive profits and exorbitant CEO compensation to ensure taxpayer dollars are dedicated exclusively to safe patient care and necessary services for all communities in the commonwealth.
This hearing is a crucial step in the progress toward moving this bill through the legislative process. A powerful showing by nurses and supporters of nurses that day is equally crucial in ensuring the ultimate success of this measure.
Why We Need the HPTFA:
- Massachusetts health care costs are among the highest in the world - and taxpayer dollars are subsidizing the lion’s share of hospitals budgets.
- Hospital CEO compensation packages continue to increase with some hospital CEO’s in Massachusetts now earning more than $3 million dollars annually in salary alone, and hundreds of thousands if not millions more in unreported compensation.
- At the same time, the lowest paid full-time hospital employee is earning roughly $23,000 annually – barely enough to survive
- Health care is following the corporate ‘bigger is better’ business model emulating Wall Street firms driven by profit, not patient safety.
- Consequently, access to essential and basic health care services has declined across the Commonwealth.
- The disparity between hospitals continues to grow, creating a system of “haves and have nots”, resulting in the loss of essential services for some communities, particularly those serving the poor and the most vulnerable. The loss of full service hospitals in North Adams and Quincy are just two recent examples.
- There is a lack of transparency for the full spectrum of hospital system investments and financial holdings, including the size and scope of funds stashed in offshore accounts.
What the HPTFA Will Do:
- Requires any hospital receiving public, taxpayer dollars to disclose all financial assets, including those held in offshore accounts.
- Assesses a clawback penalty on any hospital receiving a certain amount of taxpayer dollars that has an annual operating margin above a specific, predetermined cap.
- Assesses a clawback penalty on any hospital receiving a certain amount of taxpayer dollars that provides a compensation package for its CEO that is greater than 100 times that of hospital’s lowest paid employee.
- Establishes a Medicaid Reimbursement Enhancement Fund (MREF). The MREF will be funded by the assessments and used to increase Medicaid reimbursement rates to eligible hospitals to ensure access to essential health care services.