I live in Roanoke, Virginia, a community of about 200,000 people. We have two hospitals but one, the Carilion Health System, is proverbial 800 pound gorilla.
You see, Carilion is a non-profit hospital….meaning that they save about $50 million a year in tax exemptions! Originally, non-profit hospitals were set up to serve the poor and Carilion states that it provided an average of $36 million in charity care for each of the last two years. Wonder where the other $28 million in tax savings over the last two years has gone?
While Carilion says it is a “non-profit” hospitial…it is anything but! How about a profit of $107 million in 2007? How about profits of between $60 and $80 million for each year between 2004 and 2006? I am not an economist but Carilion sounds pretty profitable to me!
But what really bothers me about Carilion is what this monolithic empire has done to the cost of medical care in Southwest Virginia. The Wall Street Journal published an article on August 28 which is excellent. Hey Roanokers and those living in Southwest Virginia, you pay some of the highest cost of health care of anyone living in Virginia…and you may just have your local non-profit hospital to thank for it!