Letter to the Editor: What are the facts regarding Tahoe Forest costs? | SierraSun.com

Letter to the Editor: What are the facts regarding Tahoe Forest costs?

The State Controllers Office website (sco.ca.gov) has the data. When the salary of our hospital CEO is compared with five hospitals closest in size (specifically San Benito, Lompoc, Tulare, Pioneer and W. Contra Costa) it is in the mid-range.

Moreover, when you add up the salaries of the top 10 employees of all these hospitals, once again, Tahoe Forest is in the mid-range. When researching available data from the California Hospital Association, the top 37 employees reporting to the CEO are paid salaries that mid-range from the 43rd to the 59th percentile in comparison with all other similarly sized California hospitals.

How does our hospital pricing compare? The California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development provides pricing data to the public for the 25 most common hospital procedures. When Tahoe Forest prices are compared with eight nearby California hospitals, we are in the 38th percentile. Barton, by contrast, ranks in the 82nd percentile.

When we add in the Reno hospitals, Tahoe Forest drops to the 27th percentile. Can any of these hospitals compete with price with stand-alone diagnostic centers, such as Reno Diagnostics, who operate their businesses under a very different set of regulations? The answer is “no.” As they should, smart shoppers will always avail themselves of lower priced options when they can.

So what should be the conclusion? Based on Tahoe Forest’s recognition as one of the top 10 Critical Access hospitals in the country, and patient satisfaction surveys that consistently exceed 97 percent, this community is receiving outstanding care by a dedicated staff paid at median wages and at prices consistently less than the median. We are, and should be, the envy of the nation.

Ned Hughes

Tahoe City, one of seven candidates for the Tahoe Forest Hospital District Board of Directors