Saturday, November 19, 2011

re: Valley Health 'recalibration' to hit workers across network (NVDaily)

By Alex Bridges --

WINCHESTER -- Valley Health's efforts to "recalibrate" positions will hit salaries across the hospital network, officials said Friday.

The initiative means many workers could see their "shift differential" pay cut but, as two administrators explained, the system plans to compensate those affected employees with bonuses or other means "to make them whole."

The initiative began roughly a year ago after Elizabeth Savage-Tracy took over as Valley Health's vice president of human resources. As the new person in charge of the department, Savage-Tracy recalled taking a look the "total rewards program" to make sure it was fair, competitive and sustainable.

Total rewards includes all benefits, such as health insurance, welfare, retirement plans, as well as compensation -- base and premium pay. Premium pay includes shift differentials and career-ladder pay. Total rewards also includes "access management" -- vacation, holiday pay and other benefits.

To read the entire story, follow this link:

Friday, November 18, 2011

re: Some VHS workers to get raises; others could see pay cuts (NVDaily)

By Alex Bridges --

WINCHESTER -- Some Valley Health staff face pay cuts or may get increases as the hospital system equalizes positions among its thousands of workers.
Employees learned this week salaries may rise or fall as a result of an effort to align job titles and descriptions among the thousands of staff across the system.

Details of the initiative -- specifically who the changes affect and by how much -- were not available Thursday. More details on the effort would be available today, said Carol Weare, public relations manager for Valley Health.

Read the reamainder of the story on NVDaily:

Update on Lewis Gale Medical vs. Winchester Medical Center comparison

Back in November of 2009, The Pub shared a side-by-side comparison between Lewis Gale Medical Center (for-profit) in Salem City and WMC (not-for-profit).  Click on the link below to review:

For 2010, here are a couple of hilights of the comparison:
Lewis-Gale paid $27,437,225 in taxes while WMC paid just $110,699.
Lewis-Gale recorded a profit of $34.1 million vs. WMC's $53.1 million.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Winchester Medical Center's profits from 2000-2010

2000 $11,917,127 
2001 $4,262,944 

2002 $25,868,766 
2003 $35,113,921 
2004 $46,711,931 
2005 $54,346,679 

2006 $57,422,789 
2007 $66,617,961 
2008 $9,500,911 

2009 $53,757,390

2010 $53,104,420

$418,624,839 total profits since 2000 to 2010 for WMC.

Valley Health-backed study shows $1.24B area impact

The Winchester Star and NVDaily shared a story in today's paper that Valley Health is pumping about $1.24 billion into the regional economy this year.

There is no doubt that VHS has positive impact on the regional area but is the Winchester citizens feeling the affect of them not being a better neighbor in paying their real-estate taxes to the City of Winchester?

Just one example, how much more will the citizens of Winchester water rates keep increasing?

The report shows that VHS's annual community benefit for 2010 was $96.7 million but that community covers 18 regional counties serving approximate 1.1 million individuals.  The 2010 census tells us that approx, 26k individuals live in Winchester and 78k in Frederick County.  Winchester and Frederick County represents approx 9.5% of the regional population served by VHS.

Did this report share what VHS's current Investments and other securities were for 2010?

For the end of 2009, VHS's Investments and other Securities were as follows:

150,645,982 - Alternative Investments
  4,647,177 - Cash Equivalents
286,479,087 - Mutual Funds
 15,103,325 - Private Realty/Resource
  2,662,445 - Municipal Bonds
 24,542,903 - Common Stock

Now, should not the nurses and blue collar workers be better compensated?  Just review the jobs listings on the VHS website to see what some of those jobs are paying.
"As an economist, I'd have to say the market works and Valley Health has no particular interest in paying more than it has to, and they pay people what they need to pay in order to attract and retain them," Koch said.
As it's been stated, have you ever rode through VHS's parking lot and see how many out-of-state tags on the vehicles?  The blue collar worker salaries are more attractive to those who live in the neighboring state vs. the immediate local area.
The system’s employees are paid $287.5 million for their work and earn an additional $68.6 million in fringe benefits, Koch said. Average compensation of Val­ley Health employees exceeds the regional average by 20 percent.
But look at the regional area it's using for comparison.  Should it not be 20 percent more?  Have you seen what the VHS administrators are making?  Throw out the administrators and doctors salaries, and then see where those salaries would stack up with the regional area and even with the county across the mountain.
"Valley isn't paying its personnel as much as, for example, what they would earn in Frederick County, but it's paying them essentially what the market requires in order to attract really capable people."  Koch said.
Consider this, does not our local school system need additional funding?  The perception is that VHS and Shenandoah University will be partnering together to start a medical school which is great but what about our public school system?

To close, why should the citizens of Winchester continue to borne the lost of tax base from VHS’s campus while they make millions and millions locally while reinvesting into other regional counties and even out of state?  Is this fair to the citizens of Winchester?

For the record for 2010, the Winchester Medical Center had a profit or in excess of revenue of $53.1 million and the Surgi-Center had a profit of $3.6 million.

Reference most recent information available to The Pub:
Salaries for VHS from 2006-2008

VHS's 2009 Whole Group IRS990 Return

VHS Corporate's Mgmt 2009 IRS990