The $6 Million Dollar Hospital CEO Man


Where is all the money going in healthcare?  Well, the insurance companies are laughing all the way to the bank.  They skim most of it.  Let’s not forget the administrators, though.  Michael Tarwater, CEO of Carolinas HealthCare System, received $6.6 million in total compensation this past year.  This was an increase of 26 percent over the previous year’s $5.3 million. Oh, and Carolinas HealthCare is a nonprofit system.  Want more?  Each of the top 10 executives at Carolinas HealthCare received more than $1 million in total compensation for 2015.  Once again, here are the big questions that NO ONE wants to ask or do anything about?

  1. Why are there so many administrators in these hospital systems?
  2. What do they actually do?
  3. Why are they paid so much?

Per the article, the CEO of the American Red Cross, a $3 billion organization, makes about $500,000 so these people do not need this much money.  What should hospitals do to fix this?  I have some ideas:

  • Pay the administrators much less
  • Get rid of 90% of these administrators
  • Pay for more nurses!  
  • Pay for more staff!
  • Pay the nurses and staff more!
  • Try to keep the prices lower for care!
  • Stop gouging the self-pay people!

Remember, if the CEO went missing for a month no one would notice.  If a surgeon went missing for a day there would be chaos and he would be reported to the State Board of Medicine.




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] 

  7 comments for “The $6 Million Dollar Hospital CEO Man

  1. February 7, 2016 at 5:44 pm

    Well somebody has to keep those doctors and nurse plowing out the rows of patients to harvest that triple aim of lower cost and happy patients. Mush, mush boys and girls. Sad because in my town the only hospital is partnered with Carolina’s Health and most docs in town are hospital owned. Robots. Assimilate, resistance is futile. No thanks. Hello direct primary care.

  2. Private doc
    February 7, 2016 at 2:39 pm

    Our gubment is a big cause of this with all their mandates

  3. Steve O'
    February 7, 2016 at 10:24 am

    Business schools teach the elements of business as they are utilized in America. Many of the elements of American business create large remote structures unresponsive to either their mission or their actions needed to achieve them.
    One aspect of business school studies is Organizational Behavior. ( It seems to be learned by rote and applied mindlessly in many organizations. Businesses are mostly run by people who went to business school. Their inherent prejudice is that their presence makes the organization work. In general, this is demonstrated by the enforcement of impractical rules to supplant human judgment. It mirrors the yearning for conformity as shown by the society at large.
    Beneath the Corporate leadership are untrained, incapable Middle Managers who rule often by primitive rules of petty feudal leaders. They foster discord and incivility, and a sense of powerlessness. “Workplace incivility consists of low-intensity discourteous and rude behavior with ambiguous intent to harm that violates norms governing appropriate workplace behavior.”
    These are fairly standard, interchangeable elements of most American workplaces; the niches that are thriving are the ones which have not yet become overrun by Business Management.
    The bureaucratic, Weberian myths of business permit paper-shufflers to thrive, and challenging industries to die. Note the attitude in Medicine that MBA’s are precious, but neurosurgeons are a dime-a-dozen.
    This is the path we are on. A few brave people do DMC, but the rest suffer under the inverse pyramid of bureaucratic medicine. Go figure.

    • Dave Rogers
      February 7, 2016 at 2:05 pm

      Well stated Steve O. I decided to get an MBA in my 50s. But none of the hospital organizations I had worked with seemed to be interested in my services, even those who had relished in me giving my time, voluntarily back then, to serve as their chief of staff. I think they don’t want anyone who came from the patient oriented provider side. They only seem to want those who they bring up and train on the admin side of things. What a shame. The system is so broken now that you couldn’t pay me enough to work with those on the other side now. Happy to just be a doc at this point and count the days until retirement.

      • Steve O'
        February 7, 2016 at 4:39 pm

        Thanks for your honesty! When the “provider side” and “patient side” is despised as enemy ground to be overrun and subjugated, the whole process is doomed.

  4. Dr Thomas D Guastavino
    February 7, 2016 at 8:22 am

    If a surgeon were to simply walk out of the OR before the patient was fully awake there would be hell to pay. Anyway, Several months ago saw a chart showing the growth in the number of administrators vs the number of doctors and nurses. I can’t find it again. Does anyone know where it can be found.?

Comments are closed.