McKesson’s Charity Man


Here is a nice little punch in the stomach this morning.  How many of you have heard or work with the company called McKesson?   If you don’t, here is their little sound bite on their own website:

McKesson helps health care providers improve business health and deliver better care to patients. As a pharmaceutical distributor and health care information technology company, McKesson provides systems for medical supply management, clinical workflow, practice management, pharmacy automation and care management.

Sounds like everything that has destroyed healthcare, right?  Well, the company made news recently because the CEO decided to take a pension pay cut.  Isn’t that cool?   He cares about his reputation and the plight of the common man and didn’t want to come off looking greedy.   Here is his story:

CEO John Hammergren received $51.7 million in compensation for fiscal 2013, including a big increase in the value of his pension benefit as well as $11.5 million in incentive pay.  In a letter to the chairwoman of McKesson’s compensation committee, Mr. Hammergren said he was voluntarily reducing his pension benefit because it had become “a source of distraction” for the company. He cut his pension benefit by $45 million as the company revamped its incentive-compensation program for top executives, in the wake of complaints from activist investors.  His pension benefit still amounts to $114 million after the reduction, but that will be a fixed amount in cash, not subject to big potential moves that can result from changes in the company’s assumptions over factors like interest rates.

Hmmm.  $114 million.  I know, it still not enough to live on but it’s a start.  Think of that today while you grind it out in the clinic, burning out at warp speed.  🙂

Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected] 

  9 comments for “McKesson’s Charity Man

  1. R Watkins
    March 16, 2014 at 2:33 pm

    The Chairman of the PCPCC is a McKesson/ClaimCheck parasite. The AAFP loves the PCPCC. Go figure.

    • D Rogers
      March 17, 2014 at 12:12 am

      I’m sure not all of the McKesson folks are to blame. Many with the company for less than 10 years are just oblivious as to how their company became so successful. If they were around in the early days of ClaimCheck, they really are leaches. AAFP may be oblivious too. Obliviousness, got us into this mess.

  2. Ray
    March 12, 2014 at 7:34 pm

    Parasite. He is the personification of our current health care crisis. Fat cat administrators cashing in on the patients, doctors and calling it quality care while they race to the bank to cash their goddam bonuses. Look up parasite or leech, both apply.

  3. DRogers
    March 12, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    McKesson is responsible for docs making less than half of what they did nearly 20 years ago. They own ClaimCheck software that started downcoding and bundling our codes essentially stealing much of our income going back to the mid-90s. I hardly think of their CEO as a person of charity. Much of his income was stolen in the first place. Oh but that’s all been fixed by the big managed care settlements in federal court in Miami and other places. A billion or so dollars was paid out by many of the big insurers, the majority of it going into settlement funds and now used to help subsidize purchasing EMR and technology systems that the likes of McKesson sells. What nice folks they are, and our organized medicine leadership for allowing this set of events to unfold in the first place. And now you know “the rest of the story”.

    • Pat
      March 14, 2014 at 9:49 pm

      Damn, I didnt know any of that. Worse still, none of it is surprising.

  4. Dave F
    March 7, 2014 at 10:10 pm

    I would be (slightly) less appalled by this if they actually had a good product, but I would have to say that McKesson HIM is one of the worst CPOEs out there…

  5. Madelyn Sieraski
    March 7, 2014 at 11:53 am

    How many years of education does he have? What is the chance he will be sued by a patient? Is his pay based on 6 employee reviews. Does he have to type his own meeting minutes and thought process during that meeting? Are his employees lobbying to do his work for lessor pay? Drives me nuts.

  6. Ken
    March 7, 2014 at 11:07 am

    File undeer “Why health care is so expensive.”

  7. Pat
    March 7, 2014 at 8:03 am

    So he opted for a fixed cash amount, over something that might fluctuate and possibly be devalued later? Yeah, very charitable indeed. Oh well, that should still keep him in beer & cigarettes. It’s nice being able to support swell companies like this.

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