post-gazette continues to take on UPMC juggernaut

  1. http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07140/787267-149.stm
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  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   oramar
    I like the part where they take Highmark the insurance company to task for sponsering reacreational activities. The writer states that she would like to have smaller deductables instead of bike races. Very good point, if I must say so myself.
  4. by   glasgow3
    Thank you for providing this article. There is a huge misconception within the nursing community as well as the community as a whole, that not-for profits typically just break even except for small margins to be used for upgrades and repairs to property and equipment.

    And why wouldn't we believe that is the case? Year after year we are told that there is no money for decent raises, for adequate supplies, for adequate support services, for funding pension plans etc etc.....

    Look beyond the poor-mouthing, folks, and you'll find huge profits being generated with multi-billions (yes, that's with a "B") held in cash and investments all made possible by unconscionable mark-ups, aggressive collection techniques, and a tax status which permits avoidance of most types of taxes without demanding anywhere near parity in benefits returned to the community. When expressed as costs (as opposed to hospital charges which includes their huge mark-ups) the percent of revenues returned to the community is typically a pittance.

    If you've suspected that your hospital has forgotten their mission over the past 10-15 years while focusing instead on optimal financial performance, do a little investigating------in most cases you'll find that's EXACTLY what's happened.
  5. by   wonderbee
    No wonder Allegheny County is having to cut back its public transportation system and city roads look like the surface of the moon. Everywhere I go, I find a UPMC this or UPMC that facility. It is a big lot of real estate we're talking here. This was a most enlightening article. I will never think as not-for-profit in the same light again.
  6. by   steelcityrn
    I personally was sick to my stomach at the amount of money being spent on planes, meals, trips,vacations ect...that U.P.M.C. feels they can just blow each year . How dare they ever say they cannot budget increase staff or raises to those who work the hospital floors taking care of the sick and dying. And the amount of money raised each year for their cancer research to find cures for cancer is huge, articles that reveal what their spending practices are may effect the gratitude of the good people who donate time and money each year for this research. U.P.M.C. needs a reality check. How about paying your share of taxes for starters!
  7. by   oramar
    It takes guts for this newspaper to question anything this business does. After all they own just about everyone and everything around here.
    Last edit by oramar on May 21, '07
  8. by   steelcityrn
    thats true .....thats why we have the tribune review
  9. by   NRSKarenRN
    If you noticed, this was a COLUMNISTS comment, not front page story.
  10. by   DarrenWright
    It's actually funny to read the responses. A reality check? UPMC is far more entrenched in reality than you can imagine, which is why they are doing so well.

    The CEO lost his first wife to breast cancer in 1983; I think that invokes reality, and this CEO (who has been there nearly as long as I have been alive), has been the pillar of UPMC's success...he has dedicated his life to the institution.

    And UPMC has been on the cutting edge of medicine that has done so much for so many people. It's not paradise, but it's not satan's lair, either.

    UPMC is also not representative of most hospitals, i.e. they typical hospital that bleeds money or operates at the more common 1-3% profit. UPMC also does not pretend to be a fully non-profit agency. They have several for-profit agencies that pay a load of taxes and return money to the health system to take care of *gasp* sick people. And this article is simply a representation of the 'pass-the-blame' mentality of the routinely democratic government of Pittsburgh and Allegheny county, who haven't been able to balance a budget since UPMC was a dinky little community hospital, and now they want to blame a lack of tax revenue on the hospital instead of the fact that they just want to tax the living crap out of everyone and can't entice real businesses into the area, and are driving out the population with their ridiculous property taxes...take a moment to review the net population decline over the past 20 years.

    And UPMC and Highmark are not 'good buddies' or cohorts in taking money for actually providing care, and in fact Highmark has been a major thorn in UPMC's side, suing them and attempting to block UPMC expansion, collaborating with hospitals like West Penn to block UPMC's expansion, even after West Penn did not hesitate to absorb the AGH health system. Rather hypocritical if you ask me. It was UPMC that asked that the details of the lawsuit against it be made public; they had nothing to hide.

    People really don't like success unless it's in entertainment, and it seems no hospital is eligible for praise. The mediocre hospitals have it best; at least no-one targets them.
  11. by   oramar
    Don't forget the story gives UPMC credit for a lot of things. The author, as well as just about everyone in town, has been treated there. It is a juggernaut as I said and you have to be concerned about anything that big. I don't think the author was linking UPMC and Highmark, she was just pointing out another non profit institution that has big profits. Any organization this big and this rich has to be questioned. You just can't allow them to roll along. You are correct, smaller institutions go unnoticed. The price of success is attention, look at Walmart.
    Last edit by oramar on May 24, '07
  12. by   oramar
    Quote from NRSKarenRN
    If you noticed, this was a COLUMNISTS comment, not front page story.
    There has been several other stories that were on front page. I posted one of them over at Pa Nurses forum.
  13. by   NRSKarenRN
    looks like jan jennings, former pgh area hospital ceo, agrees with us: hubris seems to be flying high at upmc --upmc jet's
  14. by   oramar
    Quote from nrskarenrn
    looks like jan jennings, former pgh area hospital ceo, agrees with us: hubris seems to be flying high at upmc --upmc jet's
    well good for jan, a right on article. what he did not say is that it is conseness in the underground nursing community that upmc nurses are way overworked and underpaid.(they are practically the only game in town so you can just about like it or lump it) i wonder how much they could have raised the hourly wage of their nurses with those millions and millions of dollars. or maybe even lower the nurse to patient ratio, wow what an idea there.

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