Improved Guidelines Would Ensure that Markets Have Honest and
Accurate Information About the Impact of Health ReformCharitable
Hospital Executive Compensation Act of 2014: Prohibits
non-profit hospital executives in California from receiving more than
$450,000 in annual compensation – the same amount received by the
President of the United States. Many top executives in the state’s
non-profit hospitals make more than a million dollars a year.
Healthcare Pricing Act of 2014: Prohibits hospitals from
charging more than 25 percent above the actual cost of providing
patient care. On average, California hospitals charge 320 percent more
than the actual cost of providing care in their facilities.
SACRAMENTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--
The state’s largest union of hospital workers has asked California
Treasurer Bill Lockyer to initiate a study of the disclosures
California’s non-profit hospitals make to bond markets about the impact
of federal and state healthcare reform.
SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West made the request today in a letter
to the California Debt and Investment Advisory Commission (CDIAC) after
its own survey revealed uneven levels of disclosure. In its letter,
SEIU-UHW said it believes the CDIAC has the authority to pull together
all parties and develop improved guidelines for disclosure by public and
non-profit health systems.
Almost all disclosures fail to provide specific analysis as to how
reform will affect the particular borrower, or identify steps the health
system is taking to prepare for health care changes brought on by the
Affordable Care Act and pending changes at the state level, the union
“Properly functioning credit markets are critical to our hospitals’
success and we believe improved disclosure will help markets function
more efficiently and ultimately improve the financial viability of our
employers,” said SEIU-UHW President Dave Regan. “Healthcare reform is
going to have a dramatic impact on healthcare consumers as well as
employers and healthcare workers, and all parties need honest and
accurate information to make decisions and determinations.”
As a specific example of how disclosure is lacking and needs to be
addressed, the union cited health system communications with the bond
market regarding two SEIU-UHW-sponsored ballot measures that are on
track to appear on the November 2014 ballot. The ballot measures are
part of an effort by SEIU-UHW to lower healthcare costs and improve the
health of Californians. The two ballot measures are:
The California Hospital Association is claiming publicly that the Fair
Healthcare Pricing Act would “severely harm” its membership and cost
hospitals about “$12 billion a year” (Modern
Healthcare, Feb. 12, 2014). And a number of employers are claiming
that hospitals will go bankrupt if the initiatives pass.
However, SEIU-UHW has not found any hospitals or systems that have
released disclosures to the bond market making similar claims of
potential bankruptcy. Further, a number of health systems are going to
the bond market and releasing new marketing materials that do not warn
of any such extreme financial hardship.
One example is Sharp HealthCare, which filed its official
statement for a $159.5 million bond offering on Jan. 23, 2014. The
system notes the ballot measures as potential risks but does not warn
municipal investors of anything approaching the scale or magnitude being
claimed in press statements by the hospital industry.
Paid for by Yes for a Healthy California, sponsored and major funding
by Service Employees International Union, United Health Care Workers
West. Additional major funding by State Council of Service Employees
SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW) is the largest
hospital and healthcare union in the western United States with more
than 150,000 members. We unite every type of healthcare worker with a
mission to achieve high-quality healthcare for all. SEIU-UHW is part of
the 2.2 million-member Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the
nation's fastest-growing union. Learn more at www.seiu-uhw.org.
SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW)
Source: SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW)