In households across America, healthcare costs are crushing the American dream. The average family now pays nearly $20,000 annually between insurance premiums, deductibles, and out-of-pockets costs.
In 1970, healthcare amounted to seven-percent of gross domestic product (GDP). Today, estimates suggest the soaring cost of healthcare will consume 20-percent of our GDP.
Our OpenTheBooks Oversight Report – Top 82 U.S. Non-Prof-it Hospitals, Quantifying Government Payments & Financial Assets studied the largest charitable healthcare providers. Last year, patients spent roughly 1 out of every 7 U.S. healthcare dollars within these healthcare networks. Many are household names: Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, Kaiser Foundation, Digni- ty Health, and Partners HealthCare.
These powerful institutions are organized as public charities – not as for-profit corporations. Their mission is to deliver the latest in medical technologies and affordable healthcare to their communities. Any “profits” must be re-invested into their charitable mission.
However, these 82 non-profit medical providers are making big money. Last year, their combined net assets increased from $164.2 billion to $203.1 billion – that’s 23.6-percent growth.*
Meanwhile, their executives are highly compensated. The Ban- ner Health Chief Executive Officer and President earned $21.6 million and their Executive Vice President and CAO made $12 million last year. Top executives at Memorial Hermann Health System, Kaiser Health, Ascension, Advocate Health Care, and Northwestern Memorial made between $10 million and $18 million.
For comparison, our analysis also includes the five largest pub- licly traded for-profit U.S. hospitals. These five corporations had $96 billion in revenues last year with net asset growth of $600 million: an increase in assets from $40.1 billion to $40.7 billion year-over-year (1.5% increase).
Taxpayers deserve to know whether our non-profit healthcare providers, which use our laws to structure themselves as char- ities, are truly working for patients. After all, these non-profits pay no income taxes, or property taxes, and raised over $5 billion last year in tax-deductible contributions from donors.
As our report shows, these non-profits and the healthcare industry in general are in dire need of transparency. The public should start by asking the most basic question:
Isn’t it time to open the books and post online all prices actually paid by patients?