The Horrible Life After Being a Hospital CEO

Some of you get very ugly when discussing the salaries of hospital CEOs. I understand but you have to understand that life is miserable after they leave. For one, those golden parachutes they receive are not going to buy million dollar yachts anymore. Well, maybe they can but not more than one. Secondly, some are stuck being consultants to those place they just left:

For some hospital chains and health insurers, CEO departures are anything but a clean break. Employment agreements outline long, expensive goodbyes that compensation experts say may be designed in part to enforce noncompete agreements.

Investor-owned companies like HCA Healthcare and health insurer Anthem have contracts in place with current and recently departed CEOs outlining the terms of paid consulting gigs they step into once their tenures as the top executive end. The contracts ensure leadership will continue to be paid handsomely for scaled-back workloads.

Even though Joseph Swedish retired from Anthem’s top spot in November 2017, the company pays him $4.5 million per year plus benefits to serve as a consultant and senior adviser to the CEO, currently Gail Boudreaux. The contract, which runs until May 2020, doesn’t spell out specific time commitments, but says he’ll perform duties assigned to him by the CEO “from time to time.” Anthem didn’t respond to requests for an explanation about the agreement.

See what I mean? It is NOT easy to have a scaled-back workload an get paid $4.5 million per year (see the linked article above for more examples). You try doing duties assigned to you by the new CEO “from time to time”. C’mom people, give these people, and the hospital systems, a break. Life is tough.

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] 

  6 comments for “The Horrible Life After Being a Hospital CEO

  1. Pat
    September 3, 2019 at 6:52 pm

    Gonna keep saying it …
    … from private insurance to hospitals to government care, health care – and by extension, modern medicine – is corrupt.*. This is not an industry for honest people.

    (*except for DPC)

  2. Natalie Newman, MD
    September 3, 2019 at 3:46 pm

    Even the term CEO causes me to have a very visceral response. Makes me queasy.

  3. docpremie
    September 3, 2019 at 10:53 am

    And all they gave us terminated “employed physicians” was 3 months salary. Correction, that’s meant to mean “12 weeks,” as I was told when it ended short of 3 months.

  4. Matthew William Wood
    September 3, 2019 at 10:49 am

    keep reminding yourselves that these obscene emoluments are HEALTH CARE DOLLARS….

  5. Rick
    September 3, 2019 at 8:44 am

    Doug, I could hardly finish reading this. I kept getting choked up and teary-eyed over their plight. Perhaps we should start a GoFundMe.

  6. Celia Entwistle
    September 3, 2019 at 6:50 am

    POS, Mr. Swedish that is

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