Looking for a new job? Here's what hospital chief executive officers can expect in the way of perks:
|4.3 weeks of vacation.
|A monthly car allowance of $589.
|$1,089 a year in tax preparation services.
|$2,103 a year in financial counseling.
|Some 38% get a country club membership.
|27% are provided dining club memberships.
But don't expect to fly first-class unless you spring for the upgrade. Most employers don't pay for first-class air travel.
The lowdown on perquisites comes from the 1993-1994 Health Care Strategic Executive Compensation Survey being released this week by Ernst & Young's Actuarial, Benefits and Compensation Consulting Services practice and the Center for Healthcare Industry Performance Studies.
Up, up and away.If you happen to get laid up at Atlantic City Medical Center in New Jersey, don't expect well-wishers to bring bouquets of rubber balloons. A newly instituted policy bans all rubber and latex balloons throughout the hospital.
Barbi Harris, a registered nurse in pediatrics, initiated the balloon ban after reading a journal article about the risk of death for children who
accidentally swallow balloons. Some 51/2 years earlier, Ms. Harris saw a friend's child accidentally inhale and choke on a balloon.
According to statistics compiled by the hospital, rubber and latex balloons are the leading
cause of choking deaths from children's products; from 1973 to 1988, 121 children died of suffocation from rubber balloons. When the rubber gets caught in a child's airway, cardiopulmonary respiration becomes ineffective, Ms. Harris said.
Experts in pediatrics and risk management didn't know of any other hospitals with balloon prohibitions, and Ms. Harris knows of only one. But such precautions are hailed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, which recommends that physicians warn parents of the potential danger.
Balloon lovers shouldn't fret. The hospital still allows ones made of Mylar. Kids like them, the retain their gases longer, and they aren't associated with choking deaths, Ms. Harris said.
Community outreach.A new journalism watchdog made its debut this month with an eye on healthcare leaders and an ear bent to at least 1.1 million people in the United States with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
Chicago-based Plus Voice, "the magazine about life & HIV," premiered free-of-charge this month in hospitals, clinics, HIV-testing sites and other outlets in 31 states.
"It's not only a new magazine, but a new magazine about HIV, a subject still shrouded in ignorance, fear and discrimination," publisher Joseph Crump said in the January/February issue.
The 80-page inaugural issue has a circulation of 50,000.
While its primary audience may be those with the virus, the magazine's content strives to enhance the quality of information available to anyone concerned about HIV and AIDS.
Plus Voice editor Brett Grodeck, who is HIV-positive, said his publication will emphasize diverse and dynamic people with HIV.
The magazine also will feature healthcare reform's impact on the HIV community.
"Healthcare reform is an ongoing issue, and this magazine is a tool for healthcare executives to address the community affected by HIV," Mr. Grodeck told Outliers.
AIDS czar Kristine Gebbie told Plus Voice this month that people with HIV will get health insurance under reform. "The rates will not change," Ms. Gebbie said. "It will also cover many of the essential aspects of care that at present are not covered by most insurance policies: most necessary drugs, prescriptions, outpatient care, home care-the sorts of things that many people who become disabled with AIDS require but often have no access to, especially if they were disadvantaged to begin with."
Ms. Gebbie wasn't specific on the financing of HIV and AIDS care within healthcare reform.
Trashing the media.Meanwhile, 250 issues of a University of Chicago student newspaper-containing a front-page story criticizing the University of Chicago Hospitals' handling of ongoing employee contract talks-were tossed into the trash by a top hospital executive shortly after they were delivered to the university's medical center, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Susan E. Phillips, the hospital's vice president for public affairs, admitted trashing copies of the Jan. 14 issue of the Grey City Journal, a University of Chicago student newspaper. However, she told Outliers that she did it as a housecleaning chore, not as a retaliatory strike against the paper.
"Cleanliness was behind the whole deal, nothing else," she said. "I threw out their newspaper, I threw out the Jehovah Witness literature. Newspapers like these get very messy around the lobby."
However, Grey City Journal editor Bill Boisvert didn't see it that way. Said Mr. Boisvert: "These were highly suspicious circumstances. We believe that the hospital's administration thought the story would be damaging if employees were to read it." Ms. Phillips was one of several university executives quoted in the story, he added.
The Grey City Journal, with a weekly circulation of about 11,000, is considered the more muckraking of the university's two student newspapers, Mr. Boisvert said. The Chronicle is the other student newspaper.
Interestingly, this wasn't the first time that copies of the Grey City Journal have been missing from the hospital's main lobby, Mr. Boisvert said. In early October, about 600 issues of the newspaper mysteriously disappeared from the hospital shortly after being delivered. The main story appearing that week: Patient dumping by the hospital.