Physicians are currently working at the front line of this COVID-19 outbreak, putting themselves and their families at risk. As of 3/18/2020, there are two emergency physicians that are in critical condition with this infection, and thousands of others who are working without the necessary personal protective equipment required to protect themselves. Over the past few days, these physicians have shared their stories. They are isolating themselves in fear of infecting their loved ones, but continue to show up to care for their patients.
In the midst of all of this chaos, Senators Lamar Alexander and Representative Frank Pallone are trying to sneak an unfair piece of legislation into the next COVID-19 supplemental funding bill. This piece of legislation would translate to $100 Billion in additional profits to insurance companies over the next 10 years rather than paying for the doctors who provide care to patients 24/7/365.
We agree that patients should not be left with surprise medical bills. This happens when insurers refuse to negotiate with hospitals and physicians. Rather than doing right by paying for your care when you need it most, these insurance companies leave you the bill because they care only about their margins, at the expense of both the physicians and their own patients. These insurance executives stand to benefit the most from this legislation, and in this time of need they are in the comfort of their own homes while physicians are working tirelessly to tend to those who are ill.
Anthem Revenue $104 Billion (2019)
Cigna Revenue $154 Billion (2019)
United Revenue $242 Billion (2019)
Aetna Revenues $69.6 Billion (2019)
Cigna CEO salary $18.9 million (2018)
United CEO salary $21.5 million (2018)
Aetna CEO salary $18.7 million (2017)
The total annual healthcare spending in the US is over $3.6 trillion annually.
Healthcare spending on administration: 73%.
Percentage of healthcare spending on physician salary: less than 8%.
Physician salary compared to other developed countries are comparable.
(1) Jaquis, William. American College of Emergency Physicians. A Statement from ACEP President William Jaquis, MD, FACEP: Two Physicians in Critical Condition. Published 3/14/2020. Accessed 3/19/2020. https://www.acep.org/corona/covid-19-articles/a-statement-from-acep-president-william-jaquis-md-facep/
(2) Macrotrends. Accessed 3/19/2020. https://www.macrotrends.net
(3) Pifer, Rebecca. HealthCare Dive. CVS swings to $6.6B profit in 2019, bouyed by Aetna. Published 2/12/2020. Accessed 3/19/2020. https://www.healthcaredive.com/news/cvs-swings-to-66b-profit-in-2019-buoyed-by-aetna/572147/
(4) Livingston, Shelby. Modern Healthcare. Some Insurer CEOs see bigger paychecks in 2018. Published 3/18/2019. Accessed 3/19/2020. https://www.modernhealthcare.com/insurance/some-insurer-ceos-see-bigger-paychecks-2018
(5) Haefner, Morgan. Becker’s Payer Issures. UnitedHealth CEO’s 2018 compensation: $21.5M. Published 4/23/2019. Accessed 3/19/2020. https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/payer-issues/unitedhealth-ceo-s-2018-compensation-21-5m.html
(6) Singer, Stephen. Courant.com. Aetna: 2017 Compensation For CEO Bertolini Neared $59 Million. Published 3/7/2018. Accessed 3/19/2020. https://www.courant.com/business/hc-biz-bertolini-2017-compensation-20180406-story.html
(7) Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. American Health Care: Health Spending and the Federal Budget. Published 3/16/2018. Accessed 3/19/2020. https://www.crfb.org/papers/american-health-care-health-spending-and-federal-budget
(8) Mass, Marion. The Intelligence. Guest Opinion. American Health Care’s Staggering Administrative Overhead. Published 2/18/2020. Accessed 3/19/2020. https://www.theintell.com/opinion/20200218/guest-opinion-american-health-cares-staggering-administrative-overhead
(9) Jackson Health Care. Physician Compensation Eight Percent of Healthcare Costs. Published 5/26/2011. Accessed 3/19/2020. https://jacksonhealthcare.com/media-room/news/md-salaries-as-percent-of-costs/