“Non-profit” Hospitals in Seattle

KUOW has a lovely piece on the profits of some of Seattle’s non-profit hospitals. Not surprising, but Swedish Medical Center (which is currently on my sh*t-list) is one of the hospitals they talk about.

Nurses at Swedish start at about $25 an hour. But for top doctors and executives at hospitals like Swedish, the paychecks dwarf that figure.

KUOW has learned that 15 nonprofit hospital leaders in the Seattle area earned at least $1 million in 2007. This elite group includes the CEOs of Swedish, Providence, Virginia Mason, Group Health, Seattle Children’s and MultiCare in Tacoma. Another three dozen hospital officials in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties earned at least half a million that year.

I think the question we need to be asking, when we’re talking about health care reform, is where is the money going? I mean this from every single point, from the doctor’s time and his liability insurance, education, home, golf, etc. to the prescription meds or procedures – the elements to make them, legal costs, patents, etc. How much money does Astra-Zeneca spend on pens for doctors alone?

Maybe I’m the only one curious about this – but I think these are important things to ask when you’re asking for an overhaul.