Friday, August 20, 1999

Straub’s pay cuts taken in stride

Healthcare Association cancels convention

By Helen Altonn


Straub Hospital & Clinic's doctors have been notified their pay has been cut from 10 percent to 30 percent.

Dr. George McPheeters, secretary of the board for Straub's physicians' corporation, said most of the hospital's 200 doctors are affected.

There have been only a few complaints, he said. "We've all been surprised at that fact.

"It's kind of odd. It happened at a time that was very busy. Maybe that kept everybody's mind on other things."

But the 167 Straub physician-shareholders and other doctors knew that the pay reductions were coming.

McPheeters said last month that the physicians' board planned to reduce the doctors' salaries because of lower reimbursements.

Heart surgeon Mark Grattan also said the doctors were taking a pay cut to make sure they have cutting-edge equipment for patient care.

PhyCor Inc., Straub's Nashville, Tenn.-based management company, invested about $15 million the past year on new technology at the hospital.

In a series of cost-cutting moves, PhyCor also discontinued home services for about 150 patients, consolidated two Oahu clinics with others and laid off 40 employees.

McPheeters said a formula was used to determine individual cuts for the doctors and "everybody was told what the methodology was."

He said it "had to do with a whole variety of things, how people ranked on national benchmarks in terms of work done and other contributions."

Hospitals statewide are cutting costs and exploring collaborations because of an industrywide crisis due to reduced government and insurance reimbursements.

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