Berwick Collects Over 2,000 Signatures Opposing Partners Deal
Thursday, August 21, 2014
This deal – negotiated by Attorney General Martha Coakley – will allow for Partners Healthcare to take over South Shore Hospital and Hallmark Health System, something Berwick is against.
"I have great respect for Partners, but this deal is not in the best interest of the people of Massachusetts," said Berwick. "This is evidence of the strong grassroots opposition to the deal. Partners is already able to dictate prices and raise costs across the system due to its dominance in the market. The Massachusetts Health Care Commission, which is charged to oversee and report on progress toward better and more affordable care, recommended against Partners’ acquisition of both South Shore and Hallmark. Why on earth would we allow this deal to go through?"
The 2,056 signatures collected more than doubled the campaign's original signature goal.
Coakley Contradicts Herself
Berwick says the Partners deal appears to contradict Coakley’s own 2013 report, which states that market dominance – not the quality of services – drives the cost of care. The consolidation of hospitals also has the potential to raise prices for patients.
By approving an unenforceable deal to consolidate the most expensive network in the Commonwealth, the Attorney General has all but ensured that lower-cost options will be reduced for consumers. The report also recommends increased transparency in order to protect smaller, lower-cost providers, but the deal was done behind closed doors without necessary public scrutiny.
"Martha Coakley had the opportunity to stand up for patients, businesses, workers, and communities, but she balked," Berwick added. "She should have followed her own advice by standing up and demanding that Partners lead on cost containment, but she was either unwilling or unprepared to do so. In this decision, Martha Coakley has failed to fight for the real interests of our Commonwealth. We should expect more diligence and backbone from an Attorney General, and, even more, from one who would be Governor."
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.
#4 Winfield Brown
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.
#1 John O'Brien
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.
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