By Donna Westfall – April 26, 2017 –
CEO of Sutter Health, Mitch Hanna, spent some time before the Board of Supervisors April 25th describing the update on things going on at Sutter Coast Hospital.
His slide presentation gave a snapshot of the numbers of people coming and going through Sutter Coast Hospital. He spoke about the $28.2 million in service enhancements, among them a Kidney Dialysis Center due to be in by this summer. Supervisor Hemmingsen said he’s been asking for this for 10 years. Sadly all of those people he knew that could have been helped are now dead.
Mr. Hanna talked about patient affordability and that’s where the twain parted. Supervisor Bob Berkowitz recited prices at Sutter Coast Hospital as compared to other hospitals. Berkowitz said an X-ray at a doctor’s office will cost $81 vs $498 at Sutter Coast Hospital Berkowitz is very insistent that charges are posted at the front door of the hospital even if it’s to give a range of prices per service. See his video here:
Supervisor Roger Gitlin is concerned about Sutter Health’s lack of transparency. They (BOS) have asked for records from Sutter Health that they won’t provide and haven’t provided. He showed Mr. Hanna a just released book by Elisabeth Rosenthal called An American Sickness which paints a not so rosy picture of Sutter Health’s business practices of DRAMATICALLY higher prices – commonly termed price gouging as compared to other hospitals. Example: MRI at Sutter Coast Hospital $3,383 which he states is double the rate of the closest hospital not controlled by Sutter Health. Gitlin is asking for a true change in behavior by having President and CEO of Sutter Health, Sarah Krevans, come back to our poor county and stated, “A not-for-profit hospital should focus on patients not on profits.”
Finally, Dr’s Greg Duncan and Kevin Caldwell spoke during public comment. Duncan frankly stated that Mr. Hanna and his executives have a lot at stake… numerous of their executives are paid $1 million in annual salaries not including fringe benefits. They are motivated to continue the status quo.