The State of NC Healthcare

Carolinas HealthCare Salaries

Posted in NC Healthpress by writemyline on 15 January 2009

Well, well, well…We finally get the bottom line on Carolinas HealthCare System executive salaries. Yesterday’s Charlotte Observer headline reads: Carolinas HealthCare discloses its top pay packages. For the first time in nearly a decade, Carolinas Healthcare System reveals executives’ pay.

CEO Michael Tarwater  recieved a total compensation of $3.5 million in 2008.  One has to wonder how many financially-struggling sick or injured people made that 7-figure salary possible. How many had to max out their credit cards or empty their kid’s college fund to pay for healthcare? AND – how much of that $3.5 came from Medicare and Medicaid?

What could possibly justify such a large salary package, especially when our economy is suffering like it is?

What could $3.5 million pay for?  How about 5 heart transplants or 11 bone marrow transplants or treatment for 175,000 cases of early-stage cervical cancer.  $3.5 million would cover about 120,000 hours of nursing care or annual salaries for about 56 experienced RNs.  It would also cover annual medical costs for 300,000 diabetics.

This debate needs to be a public one. It’s not just about healthcare executive salaries; it’s about insurance premiums and co-pays, Medicare, Medicaid, and private funds — all of which contribute to compensation packages.

Are there reasonable compensation limits for healthcare executives? Absolutely.


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