Seattle's Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center found a hidden treasure that could help raise thousands of dollars for its charity-care program.
A 19th century quilt was donated anonymously in February to the 208-bed hospital's thrift store in suburban Redmond, Wash. A worker sifting through a donation box thought the quilt's heavy silk and velvet squares were unusual enough to bring the piece to a manager's attention, says hospital spokeswoman Georgia Taylor.
What makes the quilt so valuable is the fact it was signed by some of the most significant people of its time. The signatures--dated 1880--of Rutherford B. Hayes, the nation's 19th president, and three of his Cabinet members are on the center square. The quilt also was signed by women's suffrage leader Elizabeth Cady Stanton, U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice M.R. Waite and Joseph Leidy, a noted scientist.
The autographs were authenticated by a San Francisco auction house, which pegged the quilt's value at $10,000 to $15,000.
The quilt is up for sale through Nov. 30 on the Internet auction site eBay at www.eBay.com in the Web site's Great Collections area. The quilt also will be featured on the History Channel.
Any room at the inn? Aspen (Colo.) Valley Hospital is having a tough time finding employees who can afford to live in the notoriously expensive Colorado resort town--where the average price of a home hovers around $3.5 million and the monthly rent on a studio apartment is as high as $2,000.
The situation grew so desperate, in fact, that board members of the 49-bed hospital, which is nestled in the shadow of Aspen's world-renowned ski mountain, decided they needed more than discounted ski passes to attract and keep new employees. So the hospital board voted Nov. 13 to pay $4.8 million for a 31-room ski lodge that will be turned into employee housing.
Where else but Aspen? "I can tell you one thing, when you go to graduate school for healthcare administration, the last thing you study is the challenge of buying hotels and lodges to convert them to employee housing," said Randy Middlebrook, the hospital's CEO. "But that's a challenge that's unique to a resort community like ours."
The hospital already owns a 21-unit apartment complex and pays about $300,000 a year in housing subsidies for employees scattered at other apartments throughout the glitzy resort area.
Until now, that special housing has been reserved for the nonphysicians among the hospital's 250 employees. But Aspen's stratospheric cost of living could change that, too.
"In a town as expensive as we are, it certainly interests us to contemplate the leverage associated with being able to use these units for whomever might need it at the time, and that might include doctors," Middlebrook says.
All in the family (and out). When CareMatrix Corp. President and Chief Executive Officer Abraham Gosman resigned earlier this month, he didn't leave the bankrupt assisted-living provider all by himself.
Gosman, 71, the founder of the Needham, Mass.-based company, was followed out the door by two of his sons, Andrew, 34, the former vice chairman of the board, and Michael, 37, a board member.
All three Gosmans, according to CareMatrix, resigned their positions to "pursue other activities." That seems to be a popular career choice for managers or board members of troubled companies.
We're shocked. It's no secret the American Association of Health Plans opposes aggressive managed-care reform. So it should come as no surprise that a survey released earlier this month by the AAHP found that nearly two-thirds of 1,000 voters polled say they want Congress to pass weaker managed-care reform legislation if lawmakers cannot resolve the dispute over allowing patients to sue their HMOs.
According to the survey, voters prefer legislation that requires a quick, independent appeals process for disputed claims instead of a proposal that permits lawsuits.
Amazing. That's just what the AAHP wants.
Speaking of health plans . . . If you want to make more money, go to work for one. A new nationwide survey of healthcare workers shows that employees who work at health plans got heftier pay raises in 2000 than employees who work for healthcare providers.
Health plan workers received median base pay raises of 5.4% this year compared with a 3.6% median base pay increase for employees of healthcare providers, according to the survey by William M. Mercer, a New York-based human resources consulting firm.
A major reason for the difference, according to Mercer, is that health plans usually have more lucrative incentive compensation packages for their employees.
The survey was based on detailed data from more than 850 healthcare providers.
For his next impression. A man charged with posing as a physician's assistant at Pittsburgh's Mercy Hospital has pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of trespassing, but the deal may not make other hospitals less wary.
Gary Stearley was sentenced to 23 months in jail followed by three months' probation for wearing the garb of a physician's assistant and going on rounds with a real doctor (June 26, p. 116). No patients were harmed before Stearley was busted.
When he was arrested, Stearley told Pittsburgh authorities he had previously impersonated employees at Medical College of Virginia Hospitals in Richmond and Howard University Hospital in Washington.
Stearley's lawyer, Richard McCague of Pittsburgh, says the plea contained no agreement on Stearley's part to go to hospitals in the future only as a patient, but "I think he can be fairly excluded from Mercy Hospital at this point."