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Hospital CEOs Receiving Excessive Pay and Storing Public Funds in Cayman Islands

Author: Massachusetts Nurses Association/National Nurses United : Contact:

Published: 2014-06-24


A TV and radio campaign highlights spendthrift hospital CEOs stashing millions of tax dollars in offshore accounts and rewarding themselves with extravagant compensation packages.

Main Digest

The following is being released by Massachusetts Nurses Association/National Nurses United:

The launch of the statewide TV and radio campaign is timed to focus on the end of the legislative session. It urges residents to call their state legislators and demand greater transparency in hospital finances.

The ad shows two hospital CEOs clicking glasses of champagne on a beach in the Cayman Islands and enjoying a lavish taxpayer subsidized lifestyle.

The voiceover describes the billion dollars in profits Massachusetts hospitals enjoy, the millions in tax dollars they receive (more than 50% comes from taxpayer-funded government sources), the exorbitant salaries they pay their CEOs and the refusal by hospitals to disclose how much money they store in the Caymans or how they spend the millions of tax dollars they're given each year.

"Taxpayers have the right to know if their tax dollars are paying for patient care or million dollar salaries for hospital CEOs. And legislators making decisions on reimbursement rates for hospitals should insist that hospitals disclose how much money they store in offshore accounts and why hospitals don't keep those funds in Massachusetts banks where they would benefit the Massachusetts economy." said Donna Kelly-Williams, RN, President of the Massachusetts Nurses Association.

In response to hospital claims that funds are stored in the Caymans to save patients money, MNA Executive Director Julie Pinkham said "That excuse doesn't pass the 'laugh test.' Surely Massachusetts hospitals that receive millions of our tax dollars could find an institution in our state to store their reserves. And if they have so much excess money that they can pay their CEOs millions and stash funds in the Caymans, then they should stop cutting needed services and start lowering the prices they charge patients."

The ads are intended to urge legislators to pass the Hospital Profit Transparency and Fairness Act (H3844). The law would require that hospitals receiving tax dollars disclose in a timely and fully transparent manner how large their profit margins are, how much money they hold in offshore accounts, and how much compensation they pay their CEOs. To ensure access to needed services by all patients, the act also provides for enhanced funding options for hospitals serving poorer populations. If the measure does not pass by July 2, the issue will appear as a ballot measure this November.

The ads, sponsored by the Committee for Transparency and Fairness in the Use of Taxpayer Funds by Hospitals, ends with "Tell your legislators to shed some light on how hospital CEOs spend our tax dollars."

Founded in 1903, the Massachusetts Nurses Association/National Nurses United is the largest professional health care organization and the largest union of registered nurses in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Its 23,000 members advance the nursing profession by fostering high standards of nursing practice, promoting the economic and general welfare of nurses in the workplace, projecting a positive and realistic view of nursing, and by lobbying the Legislature and regulatory agencies on health care issues affecting nurses and the public. The MNA is also a founding member of National Nurses United, the largest national nurses union in the United States with more than 170,000 members from coast to coast.

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