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Medical pay follows trend--OSU staff, salaries increase with quality of health care
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发表时间:2009-04-17
更新时间:2009-04-17
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Medical pay follows trend--
OSU staff, salaries increase with quality of health care

Tuesday, April 14, 2009 3:07 AM
By Bill Bush

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/local_news/stories/2009/04/14/SALARIES3_medcenter.ART_ART_04-14-09_A1_56DHVL1.html?sid=101

ERIC ALBRECHT | THE DISPATCH
Michelle Carlton prepares for an MRI at the Richard M. Ross Heart Hospital, helped by Dr. Ali Merchant and research assistant Eric Foster, background.


DORAL CHENOWETH III | THE DISPATCH
The growing Ohio State University Medical Center complex includes the Richard M. Ross Heart Hospital and Rhodes Hall.


click here to enlarge graphic
Complete series
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Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Medical pay follows trend
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
One price of OSU winning: higher salaries for coaches
Monday, April 13, 2009
Graphic: Now and then
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Graphic: Common jobs
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Graphic: Ten years of OSU finances
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Graphic: Who made the most
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Graphic: A comparison
Sunday, April 12, 2009
A Decade of Growth: Salaries grow along with staff size at Ohio State
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Education blog
For more education news, visit the E-Team blog
The top pay at the Ohio State University Medical Center rose dramatically during the past decade as salaries there followed national health-care trends.

The highest-paid employee in 1998 made the inflation-adjusted equivalent of about $290,000 in today's dollars. That employee was Dr. Albert de la Chapelle, a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences who helped create the university's Human Cancer Genetics Program.

Last year, more than 100 Medical Center employees made more than $290,000 -- some much more, according to a Dispatch examination of payroll records. Overall, 15 of the top-paid 20 Ohio State employees worked in the Medical Center, up from seven of the top 20 in 1998.

The center has pursued a strategy "to recruit the top people, recruit the best people we could find nationally," said Peter Geier, vice president of health services. "When you do that nationally and you aim high, you pay for that."

The Medical Center has paired the salary increases with the addition of more than 5,000 jobs during the past decade, an increase of 69 percent. The result, officials say, is that central Ohio has better access to top-flight health care.

"That growth strategy is about improving people's lives," said Gail Marsh, the Medical Center's senior associate vice president and chief strategy officer. "Those folks that we're recruiting have higher expectations of performance than we've ever had."

A health-care expert said Ohio State's salary growth coincided with a national trend that has passed exploding costs to patients.

In the mid-1990s, managed-care plans were keeping national health-care spending to a 2 percent annual increase, said Alwyn Cassil, of the Center for Studying Health System Change. By 2001, that measure had risen to 10 percent, and it has remained steadily above 7 percent since, she said.

That additional money is finding a home in health-care workers' paychecks, she said.

"Hospitals don't have any incentive to control costs," Cassil said. "The more stuff they do, the more they get paid. That's partly why we're heading toward bankruptcy in this country."

Her center, which is based in Washington, D.C., is a nonpartisan research group.

'Dynamic growth'
Medical Center officials said it should surprise no one that many things at the hospital -- including pay -- have changed during the past decade.

"You're talking about a decade of dynamic growth," said Executive Director Dr. Steven Gabbe, the former dean of Vanderbilt University's medical college who took over the Medical Center last summer.

Gabbe has a base salary of $750,000, which is about $527,000 more than the base for the position in 1998 after adjusting for inflation. With bonuses (which Gabbe has sworn off for the coming year) and deferred pay, he could have made up to $1.13 million this year.

Overall, the Medical Center's payroll grew 112 percent, pumping an additional $347 million in inflation-adjusted dollars into the local economy last year alone.

Here is how Medical Center employees have fared in the decade (all comparisons have been adjusted for inflation):

• The 300 top-paid employees made an average of $263,500 last year, almost double the average pay for the corresponding group in 1998.

• The dean of the College of Medicine, Wiley W. "Chip" Souba, made more than $650,000 last year, 153 percent more than the position paid in 1998. Add in bonuses and deferred pay, and Souba -- who is being groomed to take over for Gabbe -- could make almost $1.1 million this year.

• The annual pay for the chief financial officer, John Stone, was about $600,000 -- more than three times his counterpart's salary in 1998. (Stone's total pay was almost $800,000 last year, but that included three years of deferred compensation and a 15 percent bonus, Stone said.)

• One staff nurse made $206,560 last year, including $99,360 in overtime. She would have been the 21st highest-paid employee in 1998.

Top officials at hospitals big and small across the country have seen similar pay increases.

The national median pay for nonprofit hospital CEOs in 2008 was $867,000, about 3.3 times what the job paid a decade earlier, according to an annual survey by Modern Healthcare magazine. The 1998 salary equates to about $260,000 after adjusting for inflation.

"I would not say in any way, shape or form that our (salaries) have gone beyond what the industry has," said Stone, whose salary ranks him slightly above average for peer-hospital CFOs, according to the studies compiled by the university.

Gabbe's pay and maximum bonus put him in the top 10 percent of the highest-paid CEOs of comparable peer hospitals, according to the university's salary studies. Souba would land in the top quarter.

(Like Gabbe, Stone was among the OSU executives who volunteered to pass up any bonus or pay increase this year because of the poor economy: Gabbe could have received a $150,000 performance-based bonus; and Souba, $145,000.)

But rank-and-file employees generally saw lower salary increases during the decade than people at the upper rungs of the pay spectrum.

For instance, salaries for staff nurses climbed 28 percent over the decade, while the pay of patient-care workers -- those who perform much of the routine hands-on care -- increased 10 percent. About 3,000 workers held those kinds of positions in 2008.

For many Medical Center doctors, the state is not their only paycheck.

About 700 doctors also collect a salary from Ohio State University Physicians, a private group practice affiliated with the hospital that generated $254 million in revenue last year.

OSU Physicians would not release employee pay information, but a mandated report to the Internal Revenue Service shows that its top earners each added more than a half-million dollars to their state pay from the Medical Center in 2007, the most recent year available.

The growing operation
That the hospital is striving to grow and attract top talent is good for Columbus, and good for patients, OSU officials said.

If the university had not purchased the former Park Medical Center in 1999, the East Side could be without a hospital, they said. Now named University Hospital East, the facility has lost money every year since the $12.7 million purchase, as many people treated there are uninsured.

In 2000, the Medical Center opened the Dorothy M. Davis Heart and Lung Research Institute. In 2004, it added the Richard M. Ross Heart Hospital. In 2006, the university opened an office tower on campus to house its rapidly growing biomedical research programs.

Ohio State received $53.5 million in grants from the National Institutes of Health a decade ago, ranking it 61st in the nation. But by last year, it had moved up the research-funding list to 44th, with more than $128.3 million.

Overall, Medical Center revenue has nearly tripled after inflation during the past decade, with the biggest increase coming from insurance-company payments, up almost five times after inflation to about $700 million last year. Payments from the federal Medicaid and Medicare programs also are up substantially.

Much of that can be explained by the growth in patient care:

• Admissions are up 68 percent, to 57,550 a year.

• Inpatient numbers are up 80 percent, to an average of 910 a day.

• Emergency-room visits are up 123 percent, to 103,290 a year.

• Surgeries are up 57 percent, to 31,505 a year.

One thing hasn't grown: the number of doctors being trained at the teaching hospital. The College of Medicine's 2008 graduating class was 198, down almost 5 per- cent from 1998. But overall, the Medical Center has grown from 26 percent of OSU's budget in fiscal 1998 to 43 percent last fiscal year.

It also has become probably the university's "biggest vulnerability" in these bad economic times, OSU President E. Gordon Gee said.

"If the hospital gets sick, the rest of the university gets pneumonia," Gee said.

So the consequences could be severe if patients can't pay their bills or the hospital system doesn't receive Medicaid reimbursements.

Gee stressed that the Medical Center is in good financial shape and has 60 days of cash on hand, which he called a "sign of good health."

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