Cost of Care: Hospital CEOs Rake in Bonuses

Hospital patients find that cost of care does not meet quality when paying out CEO's salary.
2:23 | 06/16/13

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Transcript for Cost of Care: Hospital CEOs Rake in Bonuses
investigation tonight into the growing cost of hospital care. Many arguing that patients are paying more to help pay the big BONUSES HOSPITAL CEOs ARE RAKING In. SO, WE ASK, ARE THOSE CEOs MORE Concerned over bigger business or your better care? Here's abc's jim avila tonight. Reporter: Gleaming new towers. Fancy birth suites. Expensive mri machines. And even robot surgeons. Hospitals proudly market them as the marvel of american medicine. But critics say they are also costly examples of what is wrong with a bloated health care system. As long as we have volume-based payment, you get paid for every single thing you do, well, people will do more things. Reporter: There is plenty of blame to go around, but an abc/kaiser heaws investigation finds that six figure incentives added to million dollar salaries, often PAID TO HOSPITAL CEOs, Contribute significantly to the problem. One reason that the system has gotten so big and so EXPENSIVE IS THAT HOSPITAL CEOs Are paid to make it that way. Reporter: Payments like these -- the ceo of carolinas health system in charlotte, a $2.8 million bonus last year for meeting, among other things, financial goals. And for growth in scope and scale. His total pay? Nearly $5 million. In seattle, where valley medical center recently finished a new surgery center and an expanded emergency department, the ceo was paid a $213,000 bonus. Much of it tied to growth and profit. I do not receive any bonuses for anything and I don't think i should be. Reporter: Dartmouth hitchcock in new hampshire is hailed as an example of what hospitals be promoting in today's world. Fewer patients, fewer tests, fewer surgeries. I don't think we want to try to incentivize people to come to a hospital. Reporter: The hospitals say the incentives are paid not for growth alone. And even in their not for profit world, profits are needed to keep institutions afloat. But the american hospital association agrees the practice OF REWARDING CEOs FOR MORE, More, more needs to evolve. We're all learning. Providers and consumers. That that line of thinking has to change. Reporter: Until it does, CRITICS SAY CEOs WILL GET Richer, while health care gets no better. Jim avila, abc news, washington.

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