Stories by Steven Brill

Now what? Hurdles for CBO and the governors

Steve Cannon / AP

Now that the House has acted (and left town), the Congressional Budget Office has to find a useful way to estimate what will happen with the state waivers in the health care bill — more useful than the way it has tried to predict state decisions in the past. And we need a better sense of what the governors are planning to do.

The new winner of the hospital CEO salary awards: $72 per patient day

Mercy Health via YouTube

I owe Norman Roth an apology. Last week I wrote that that the $2.9 million that Greenwich Hospital paid him for running the small southern Connecticut unit of the Yale New Haven Health System — which amounted to $56.40 for every night someone spent in his hospital — was the highest pay per patient day of any hospital CEO I had ever seen.

Well, it was until a disgruntled employee of the Mercy Health System, based in Janesville, Wisconsin, wrote to tell me about Mercy CEO Javon Bea. His $8,044,000 earnings for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2015 (which covers the latest Mercy report on file with the IRS) to run the mid-sized Mercy system amounted to a whopping $72.02 per patient day.

Stay in a hospital, pay the CEO $56 a night

Norman Roth has a great job. He's the CEO of the relatively small Greenwich Hospital in southern Connecticut, and for each night patients stayed at his hospital in 2015, he got paid $56.40.

That's the most extreme case I've seen in my years of writing about the health care economy, where executives are paid far more than they are in just about any other industry. But it's hardly the only case of sky-high hospital CEO salaries. And it's a good reminder that the debate over the future of Obamacare has to do with insurance to cover the costs of an industry that operates in a kind of alternate universe compared to the rest of the American economy.

That's why, to help Axios kick off its coverage of the health care economy, I've done the first research that allows us to see how much the CEOs of the biggest hospital systems got paid for each day a patient spends in their hospital. It's a new benchmark that lets us see not just how much they're making, but how much they're costing their patients.

CEO Pay per Patient Day: 20 Largest Hospital Systems

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