Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Harder They Fall

   (7/23/14) In 2011, the University of Utah Medical Center was named best in the nation by the morally dubious, cabalistic University HealthSystems Consortium. This simply was not believable. Our investigation discovered that a U. of U. executive essentially reverse-engineered the "top secret" algorithms that were going to be used by UHC in its ranking process, and focused intensively of those particular criteria. It was sort of like doping: It was cheating. The University blanketed the Intermountain West with ads and media coverage about its Number One status, until our blog post article appeared ( UHC abandoned its ranking program and reallocated its considerable resources.
    Now that the new U.S. News and World Report rankings have been released, we can see how far from Number One the U. really is. Naturally, no one is trumpeting this dismal news.

     The University of Utah does not appear in the magazine's "honor roll" of best hospitals overall. It is ranked 35th in primary care and 52nd in research by U.S. News and World Report.  It does not appear at all in the lists of top 10 medical school programs in primary care, internal medicine or pediatrics, nor was it named in any of the Top Three lists for 16 other specialties. As one might expect, the school did not publicize these data, unlike its exuberant advertising in 2011. 
    At least it was named one of the top 100 by Becker's Review in 2013. But not Number One!
    The Mayo Clinic and Massachusetts General, named Number One and Number Two overall, respectively, did not use the rankings for publicity purposes. Interestingly, Johns Hopkins did, claiming on the national news that it was rated Number One, when in fact it was tops in only one category: Rheumatology. 
    In 2012, the most recent year for which tax filings are available online, top-ranked Mayo, supposedly a "nonprofit," paid its CEO and president John Noseworthy more than $1.7 million in salary and other compensation. Treasurer Harry Hoffman received over a million dollars, and six assistant treasurers received between a quarter million and six hundred thousand dollars. The Form 990 IRS filing lists 63 of the highest-paid trustees, officers and key employees, most of whom hauled in between a half-million and a million dollars.
    Think what all that excessive pay could have contributed to patient care! Or maybe even decreased costs!