Let me make my concession right up front. Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital, for the most part, provides the residents of Western Virginia with high-end medical care. Further, Carilion is the economic engine which drives Roanoke and the surrounding area. However, it is not a nonprofit hospital regardless of what members of that institution tell you.
The Wall Street Journal published a great article on Friday, April 4 on hospitals which fly the nonprofit banner. The article entitled, “Non Profit Hospitals, Once For the Poor, Strike it Rich,” tells the real story. The combined net income of the 50 largest nonprofit hospitals jumped nearly eight-fold to $4.27 billion between 2001 and 2006! How is that nonprofit? Did your income jump the same amount during those 5 years?
Originally, nonprofit hospitals were supposed to provide medical care to those who could not afford it and in return the hospitals received federal and state tax breaks. Today, those nonprofit hospitals still get the tax benefits but are pretty tight when it comes to providing care to those who cannot pay. Don’t believe me…just take a little trip down to the Roanoke City General District Court and take a look at the civil docket. You will see that Carilion is suing dozens of people who cannot afford medical care.
Does anybody know that Carilion Roanoke Memorial charges almost 2.5 times what Medicare deems to be a reasonable charge for medical services. This information is readily available on the Medicare Cost Reports. Does anybody know that the top 3 key employees earned total compensation of over $3,000,000 in 2005! Don’t believe it? Check Carilion’s federal tax return for 2005 at guidestar.org.
Want to read more on this topic? Check out Dr. Gerard Anderson’s testimony before Congress.