AUGUSTA, Maine—Proposed legislation to cap Maine hospital CEO compensation at the governor's salary was unanimously rejected by the state Legislature's Joint Standing Committee on Health and Human Services. Hospitals that seek or renew a license would be required to certify the CEO receives no more than the governor earns, under the bill introduced by Democratic Rep. Brian Bolduc. A fiscal note that accompanied the bill said the state's two psychiatric hospitals and its MaineCare health insurance could see an undetermined savings by capping hospital CEO salaries, though the note did not explain further. At $70,000, Maine's governor earns less than any other U.S. governor by more than $17,000, according to a 2010 survey by the Council of State Governments. Jeff Austin, vice president for government affairs for the Maine Hospital Association, said trade group officials understand the public's interest but do not believe the state should regulate salaries of private entities, including hospitals. Austin said the Internal Revenue Service and the Maine attorney general may enforce rules that prohibit excessive executive pay at not-for-profit hospitals and health systems. The bill goes to the House and Senate for a vote with the committee's report that it “ought not to pass.”
Regional News/Northeast: Maine compensation legislation rejected by committee, and other news
NEW YORK—The Institute for Family Health broke ground on an expansion of its Walton Family Health Center in the Bronx. The project will triple the size of the federally qualified health center, adding 11,000 square feet to the original 5,000-square-foot building. The larger center will have 18 exam rooms, compared with six now, as well as a mental health suite and dental space. Most of the funding comes from the New York State Department of Health. “When we opened the Walton Family Health Center in 1998, there was a tremendous need for better access to primary healthcare in this neighborhood,” Dr. Neil Calman, the institute’s president and CEO, said in a news release. “The new facility will focus on patients’ experience, and it will include self-serve kiosks and a concierge model of care.” The expanded center is scheduled to be completed in 2012.
NEW BRITAIN, Conn.—The Hospital for Special Care has opened a comprehensive heart-failure inpatient unit designed to reduce costly emergency room re-admissions for heart-failure patients. Directed by board-certified intensivists and cardiologists, the center’s purpose is to stabilize a patient’s medical condition and improve functional ability, according to a statement from Dr. Paul Scalise, senior vice president of medical affairs at the long-term, acute-care hospital. “We have developed this new unit to augment, not replace, what acute-care hospitals do for heart failure patients in a cost-effective manner,” Scalise said. “Patients in this program will receive a regimen of medical therapy coupled with occupational and physical therapies.” Patients eligible for referral to the unit are those who received a diagnosis of heart failure; were discharged from an acute-care hospital within the past 30 days; need treatment and strengthening; have had recurrent admissions for management of heart failure; are preparing for a cardiac mechanical-assistance device; or who have recently received such a device and need therapy and education before going home.
Send us a letter