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MA Ranks Second in the Nation for Emergency Medical Care System

Thursday, January 16, 2014

 

Massachusetts ranks as the second highest state in the nation for its overall emergency medical care system. The state received a B- in the American College of Emergency Physicians’ (ACEP) state-by-state report card on America’s emergency care environment (“Report Card”).

“The people of Massachusetts understand better than most that emergencies can happen anywhere at any time, especially following the Boston Marathon bombings and the well-organized medical response to the victims,” said Dr. Nathan MacDonald, president of the Massachusetts College of Emergency Physicians. “Given the uncertainties of health care reform, emergency care has never been more important than it is right now.”

The state has shown a commitment to improve access to care, injury prevention, public health, and safe and effective quality care. However, Massachusetts has fallen behind with regard to its Medical Liability Environment and has not improved in Disaster Preparedness.

See the State-by-State Report Card here

Massachusetts ranked first in the nation, earning an A, in the category of Public Health and Injury Prevention. This is because of dedicated funding for injury prevention for both children and the elderly as well as low rates of fatal injuries.

The Quality and Patient Safety Environment grade was a B+. Massachusetts maintains a statewide trauma registry and has triage and destination policies in place for trauma or stroke, which allow Emergency Medical Services teams to bypass local hospitals for medical specialty centers.

Massachusetts also has good Access to Emergency Care. The state has high per capita rates of specialists, emergency physicians and registered nurses, as well as the lowest rates of adults and children with no health insurance. It is fourth in the nation in that category with a B.

In the area of Medical Liability Reform, Massachusetts is unfortunately at the bottom of the list. The state received a D- in that category and ranks 40 th in the nation. It has few liability reforms in place and one of the highest average malpractice award payments in the country. Massachusetts must work to bring the state’s excessive medical malpractice awards more in line with national averages.

Recommendations for improvement

The Report Card had recommendations for improvement that included:

  • Massachusetts should work to increase hospital capacity to ensure that acceptable levels of timely, high-quality care can continue to be provided throughout the state.
  • Massachusetts must work to improve its Medical Liability Environment. One important reform would be passing additional liability protection for Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA)-mandated emergency care.
 

Related Slideshow: Central MA Non-Profit Hospital CEO Pay, From Least To Most

Here are the total annual compensation amounts for the CEOs of the four non-profit hospital groups in Central Massachusetts. The source is each hospital group’s latest available 990 Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax, which is filed with the IRS and available at Guidestar.org. The CEOs are shown here, from lowest to highest total compensation.

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#4 Winfield Brown

Salary: $192,828

President and CEO, Heywood Healthcare, with campuses in Athol and Gardner

Note: Henry Heywood Memorial Hospital and Athol Memorial Hospital merged in January 2013 to form Heywood Health Care. Brown, who had been president and CEO of Athol Memorial, became head of Heywood Health Care in August 2011. Daniel Moen, who had been president and CEO of Henry Heywood Memorial, was terminated in January 2011. His total compensation for fiscal 2011 was $993,456.

Latest available 1099 filing: Athol Memorial

Latest available 1099 filing: Henry Heywood Memorial

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#3 Edward Moore

Salary: $461,607

President and CEO, Harrington Memorial Hospital, Southbridge

Latest available 1099 filing

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#2 Francis Saba

Salary: $603,232

CEO, Milford Regional Medical Center, Milford

Latest available 1099 filing

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#1 John O'Brien

Salary: $2,358,455

Former President and CEO, UMass Memorial Health Care, with campuses in Worcester, Clinton, Leominster, Marlboro and Palmer

Note: John O’Brien retired as president and CEO in January 2013. Dr. Eric Dickson, MD, became the new president and CEO the following month. The UMass Memorial news release announcing Dickson’s appointment did not include his compensation package. According to UMass Memorial’s latest available 1099 form, Dickson received a total of $650,589 in compensation during the fiscal year that ended September 30, 2012.

Latest available 1099 filing

 
 

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