Archive for Thursday, June 21, 2007

LMH chief to receive $100,000 raise

June 21, 2007


LMH CEO Meyer gets $100,000 pay raise

One Lawrence business leader receives a $100,000 pay raise today. Enlarge video

Lawrence Memorial Hospital Chief Executive Officer Gene Meyer will receive a $100,000 raise after the nonprofit hospital posted its strongest financial performance in memory.

LMH board members on Wednesday agreed to raise Meyer's salary to $395,000 per year. The approximately 33 percent raise comes after the hospital's operations generated revenues that were $10.3 million greater than the hospital's expenses in 2006. That was an increase of nearly 40 percent from the previous year.

Donna Osness, vice chairwoman of the board, said the board consulted several hospital compensation studies to determine the appropriate pay for Meyer, who has been the top executive at LMH for the past 10 years.

"It is essential that our CEO's pay is competitive," Osness said. "It is difficult to find a good CEO, and we have a great CEO. CEOs with Gene's experience often earn $375,000, even up to $600,000."

Meyer's evaluation comes as the hospital is wrapping up an $8 million private fundraising campaign to help finance a $45 million expansion of the hospital. The hospital will be celebrating the completion of the campaign at a public open house from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Friday at LMH, 325 Maine.

LMH board members unanimously approved Meyer's raise, although board chairman Lindy Eakin was not at the meeting.


Ragingbear 10 years, 12 months ago

And people wonder why they are billed $50 for an over the counter trucker dose of Tylenol.

KS 10 years, 12 months ago

I am glad I didn't donate to their recent fund raising campaign. Looks like they have enough money. Ragingbear, that $50 Tylenol would be $150 if the government was involved. I agree with you however.

whydoyouask2dogs 10 years, 12 months ago

Since the City owns LMH and will run any competitor out of town, why not take this non profit's profit and fix our damn roads?

cowboy 10 years, 12 months ago

I don't begrudge this salary as the hospital is very well run , but perhaps he could chip in on my recent bills in the Er which run about 2000 per hour or better yet put him in charge of the city budgets , heck we'd have a surplus within weeks !

Homey 10 years, 12 months ago

This was a well deserved raise. You just have to look at the other hospitals in the area who are underperforming in quality, charity care and profitability to know that this is a well run hospital. Anyone in the industry would tell you that he could go to KC and get a 20% raise from what he is making after this increase (search the KC Business Journal or KC Star online or go to Guidestar). Cardiologists make twice as much money and take ten weeks off a year. You get what you pay for -- in this instance a quality hospital run by a quality team.

Jean1183 10 years, 12 months ago

What a joke. He is merciless when it comes to his employees or patients. They are just a number and all he really cares about is making money. I am speaking from personal experience as well as knowing MANY others who he has shafted (or had underlings shaft). I can also say (from personal experience) that on a superficial level he appears to be very kind. You know the old saying, "looks can be deceiving".

I agree with the others, the money should trickle down to those who really do the work; or if the NON PROFIT hospital is making a PROFIT, they should lower their fees.

Also, why is LMH so afraid of any competition?

H2Hummer 10 years, 12 months ago

$295,000 Base + $100,000 = 33% raise.

Since it is obvious that the CEO is not the only person on staff who contributed to the positive financial report, I assume everybody at the hospital received an equivalent pay increase.

Lawrence is a community solidly populated by insured professionals with incomes and BENEFITS far above the national average; I would imagine a first year MBA with a little marketing sense could have generated a nice profit.


Just for the record, a while back LMH placed an add in the Ottawa Herald for their ER. I guess it was their suggestion that if you have a serious medical emergency it would be advisable to hop in your car and drive ?? minutes on 2-Lane Killer 59 to Lawrence for treatment.

imastinker 10 years, 12 months ago

You guys would have his head on the platter if he was underperforming.

That is a lot of money, but if he is saving the hospital more than that it's worth it. There ARE people out there easily worth that kind of money.

Linda Endicott 10 years, 12 months ago

Well, here's one of those reasons that medical care costs so damn much...

Exactly when did the CEOs in this country become more important than the peons at the bottom who do all the grunt work?

I think ALL CEOs are overpaid, strike that...that's an insult to monkeys...

Kam_Fong_as_Chin_Ho 10 years, 12 months ago

And people wonder why they are billed $50 for an over the counter trucker dose of Tylenol.

Hospitals charge a lot for Tylenol and other meds to compensate for the people who receive medical treatment then fail to pay their bills. When somebody stiffs the hospital, everyone else pays.

bluerose 10 years, 12 months ago

the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

same as it ever was.

mama2jack 10 years, 12 months ago

As an employee (who donated to this campaign) I am tad bit peeved that the CEO received an additional $100,000. It was my understanding the money was going to our new construction, not Gene Meyer. As for the "peons who do the grunt work" in the hospital, we are nurses, phelbotomists, patient techs, housekeepers, food service workers, lab techs, etc. Try to be a CEO of a hospital that doesn't employ adequate staffing because they only keep the pay at the minimal level for RNs while ever increasing pay to the "office staff", in order to be competitive with KC. Maybe the hospital figured that our $1.10 raise last year was plenty.

karensisson 10 years, 12 months ago

Isn't essential that the people on the ground who do the actual work have competitive wages also?

This is what's wrong with America.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 10 years, 12 months ago

This guy may deserve a raise, but 33%. Most families don't earn 100,000 a year with 2 incomes. Is everyone at the hospital getting a 33% raise? Are they at least getting a 10% raise? I doubt it. A leader can make all the difference in how a place is run, and it usually makes a good working environment, so I don't begrudge the man a reward, but 33%!

blackwalnut 10 years, 12 months ago

There should be no profit in the medical system - at all. Medical care is a human right (that also comes without human responsibilities, too, such as, to work and be productive to the best of one's ability).

The richest country in the world cannot afford medical care for its people because the profitmongers are all over the medical and pharmacentical professions. America ought to be ashamed.

That's why they demonized Hillary Clinton, you know - she dared try to change this. She bungled it and made enemies and deserved some criticism for that, and I oppose her for some other reasons, but this - that she wanted to fix health care for Americans - is the real reason the right demonized her and they'll never let up. You don't go against the Big Money Machine that serves up medical care and drugs in this country. They are the largest lobby in Congress.

samsnewplace 10 years, 12 months ago

21 June 2007 at 8:48 a.m. crazyks (Anonymous) says: Exactly when did the CEOs in this country become more important than the peons at the bottom who do all the grunt work?

21 June 2007 at 9:32 a.m. karensisson (Anonymous) says: Isn't essential that the people on the ground who do the actual work have competitive wages also?

This is what's wrong with America.

I agree with you both! NOBODY ever gets a 33+% raise, I don't care how wonderful he is, he didn't do it alone and there are alot of underpaid little people who actually do the nasty work during the much was their raises?

Linda Endicott 10 years, 12 months ago

The people who do all the work and make management look good are never rewarded for their efforts.

I work with DD adults. I have received one pay raise in three years, and that was only 3%. In fact, now it's been decided that workers will only get pay raises every three years or so...depending on if there's money available.

But management always gets a raise. Seems there's always money available for them.

I like the idea of having a "switch jobs week", where management and the peons get to see how the other half lives.

Management would run home screaming after a couple of hours...

karensisson 10 years, 12 months ago

I'd rather have seen 100 nurses etc. get a $1,000 raise each.

Not giving any more money to this hospital.

Kam_Fong_as_Chin_Ho 10 years, 12 months ago

People wouldn't "stiff" the hospital if the people weren't getting shafted by the unreasonable medical bills.

What's a reasonable price for having your life saved?

imastinker 10 years, 12 months ago

LMH has historically not paid as well as other hospitals because demand is so high. In the pharmacy, the hospitals py less than retail, and LMH is even less than most hospitals. Pharmacists get out of school and don't want to move. I bet nurses are the same.

If you want a solution, mine is to reduce demand or increase supply of doctors, nurses, pharmacists, etc. It's already happened in some areas. Radioligists are already being forced out by indians who can read x rays over the internet.

Bill Chapman 10 years, 12 months ago

I was recently in the hospital for 10 days recovering from surgery and when I got my itemized bill for my hospital stay, I found out that I (and my insurance) were paying $5.00 a pill for OTC 500mg Tylenol. At 100 pills a bottle that works out to be $500.00 a bottle! I really hope our "non-profit" hospital isn't paying over $10.00 for 100 pills of 500mg Tylenol!

concernedparent 10 years, 12 months ago

Now, I understand some of your frustration, but maybe you should take a few minutes to look around at other hospitals. Look at what their CEO's are getting paid. You don't have to give any more money to this hospital, but if you give it to someone else's hospital you're just contributing to the same thing there.

Linda Endicott 10 years, 12 months ago

Why should the CEO get comparative wages when nobody else does?

H2Hummer 10 years, 12 months ago

Take a look at the hospital board. Are there any teachers, fireman, factory workers, sales clerks, police officers, nurses, lab techs, students, construction workers, day care workers, etc on this board?

Short Answer NO....!

Look at the various elete (NON-ELECTED) Boards. Most are hand-picked by the Director-Administrator-CEO or whatever. Most if not all the hospital board members are in upper bracket income levels. They are a carefully cultivated group of YES men and woman who go along with about anything the CEO wants creating a finely tuned mutual admiration machine.

Linda Endicott 10 years, 12 months ago

"mutual admiration machine"

I like that one, H2...mind if I borrow it?

working_momma 10 years, 12 months ago

OK a little about not for profit. First a not for profit institution still needs to make a profit, the key here is that a not for profit institution does not divvy up profits with shareholders. In this case Gene's raise (while exorbitant and questionable) is an operating expense. I beg the question why it is necessary to give such a raise to one person so he does not leave for bigger and better things in KC or another metro area, but such a raise in unnecessary to keep the clerks, lab techs, xray techs, nurses, transcriptionists, medical records clerks, housekeepers, storeroom clerks, central services clerks, and the many, many staffers I have not mentioned. Simple math tells me that replacing 1 person who moves for greener (this is a purposeful pun having to do with $100,00) pastures would be much easier and cheaper in the long run. Does the board not see being in the Lawrence community a benefit in and of itself? I certainly do, I choose to work in Lawrence because I live in Lawrence and see that as a benefit not compensated by wages or a "benefit package". I could easily get a job in KC or Topeka and get paid more but would loose the benefit of living in Lawrence. I would think the board would want a prominent community leader to have the same attitude. My only other issue with this raise has to do with the capital campaign. Why did some of that money go toward that so the hospital did not have to pillage to the employees who make one tenth of his salary and the other members of this community who have similar incomes. I invite the board to help the community to understand this better.

riverrat2 10 years, 12 months ago

We need another hospital in town. LMH needs the competition.

The next fund raiser will be a bust. If you need a charitable donation for tax purposes give it to a church.

cellogrl 10 years, 12 months ago

Okay, I have to expand on what working_momma said. A not for profit organization does make a profit, but whatever profit they make yearly is put directly back in to the organization. So that $10 million is going right back to LMH. Also, I do know for a fact that the others are not getting a raise (at least it hasn't been announced yet if they are). LMH is a well run hospital that really does a great service for the community. I've worked at 2 other hospitals and this is the best that I've seen. Sorry if a few of you have been screwed by them financially, but honestly, what hospital WON'T screw you monetarily?

Tony Kisner 10 years, 12 months ago

CEO salaries are directly linked to compensation consultants who are hired by CEO's to determine how much the CEO should be paid. If the CEO doesn't get the answer he/she likes, they then hire another compensation consultant, and clearly state the objective of the consulting activity, and get paid what they feel they deserve.

Now next year when the fund raising campain comes up short (directly related to the public relations blunder related to this raise) will the CEO's salary go down? Will there be a need for a change in direction? Not with this board. Are any of these board members ex-Westar board memebers? Smells the same.

lynnd 10 years, 12 months ago

I'm not saying I agree or disagree with this raise and the amount of it...

but I don't see where the article says that the money for the raise is coming from the recent capital campaign? It sounded to me like the raise is because of the 40% increase in revenues last year which is separate from the capital campaign?

Jackalope 10 years, 12 months ago

Non profit hospitals are far from non profit in no-competition communities. And, neither are they charitable.... they sue nearly everyone who has not promptly paid their bills.

Centrist 10 years, 12 months ago

"" This was a well deserved raise. You just have to look at the other hospitals in the area who are underperforming in quality, charity care and profitability to know that this is a well run hospital. ""

Are you freaking KIDDING me???

This place isn't a 'hospital', it's a piece of sh*t.

"Quality" ???

People go to the ER and are basically IGNORED, often while BLEEDING to DEATH. Do a search - you'll find 'em.

Several members of my own family have been treated like crap, and with little or NO treatment, only to see HUGE bills later on for what amounted to NOTHING, nada, no service, no treatment. My son was bleeding profusely one time and they wouldn't even put something on the wound. I had to request treatment SEVERAL times and even then, they did VERY little for him.

Again, I say ... LMH is NOT a hospital. It is a poorly run, profit-oriented piece of sh*t.

Non-profit my a$$ ...

Bassetlover 10 years, 12 months ago

In the past 7 years, I have made 3 trips to the emergency room (kidney stone and stitches late at night when my doctor's office was closed). On all three occasions I received exceptional care and I found every single staff member I came in contact with caring, compassionate, and professional. To call this hospital "a piece of sh*t" seems grossly unfair....I'm sure there another side to this story. LMH has come a long, long way from 10-15 years ago when everyone in town refused to go there and traipsed into KC or Topeka. But no more. They have done a remarkable turn-around and their patient care is stellar, in my opinion. I have no problem with the CEO being paid well for his accomplishments at the helm.

Centrist 10 years, 12 months ago

They must have turned it around in the last 12 months then ...

concernedparent 10 years, 12 months ago

centrist, people like you piss me off. They saved my 5 year old's life when she was 3, a year ago, my husband had a heart attack. They treated him quickly, respectfully, and appropriately. Maybe its because of your poor negitive attitude that you get treated like crap. Maybe you should move next door to KU MED or St Francis. I recently had to take my husband to a hospital in Kansas City. Shawnee Mission Med Center to be exact. They were busy, we were there for almost 9 hrs, and you want to talk about an expensive bill? And they wouldn't even treat him until I coughed up 200 dollars for a co-pay, and he has health insurance. And I agree with bassetlover. If 100K is what it takes to keep Gene there running the hospital like he does, then please pay the man.

I've heard several people like you. "well back in 1984 they...." Guess what? It's 2007.

Centrist 10 years, 12 months ago

Guess what? This was last year (2006, not 1984). And before that in 2005, again in 2004, and in 2003.

At best, this 'hospital' is inconsistent in the way it treats its customers ... er ... patients.

My (and my family's) several experiences have found extremely poor service and no atmosphere of 'hospital' at all. And no, we didn't 'bring it on' with poor attitudes. We got absolutely no service - in the ER, where service is not only expected, but is supposed to be life-saving. And yes, we had insurance each time, and yes, we were courteous. And no, it wasn't for frivolous reasons. Being the only hospital in town rather limits one's choices when one is BLEEDING.

In my opinion - it sucks.

pinecreek 10 years, 12 months ago

So that's the base pay amount, what's the rest of the story? Performance bonus? Tenure bonus? Deferred compensation? Pretty standard in the business...

concernedparent 10 years, 12 months ago

Why don't you do a little research and see what their ER is ranked compared to other community ER's its size?

midwestmom 10 years, 12 months ago

Save your donations to LMH, think about giving instead to Health Care Access or to the LEO Center, truly non-profit organizations trying to provide basic services to under or uninsured individuals and families. There are lots of other really needy, underfunded organizations in our community. Find one and support it, either financially or physically.

$100,000.00 is crazy excessive. LMH, please stop wasting paper sending me "donation" requests - not going to happen!

trinity 10 years, 12 months ago

agree, that the raise is excessive. unless everybody across the board of the entire staff of the facility received similar raises. but i have got to say, my darlin' daughter was admitted to lmh from the er(gall bladder went bad), and she/we were treated quite well, no problems or complaints about the er doc, the nurses in er and on the floor, surg. staff, etc.

maybe i just have that "don't F with me" look about me, i dunno. :-/

concernedparent 10 years, 12 months ago

Midwestmom, I agree with you on helping support those two groups as well but where do you think those centers send their patients to have xrays, sonos, lab work, IV therapies, physical therapy, etc....

barnhardt01 10 years, 12 months ago

The employees get a 3.5 % raise in Jan and insurance goes up at the same time, taking most of your raise. The employees gave back $80,000 to the employee campaign this year, every year the amount goes up. Probably about 90% of the regular employees live in Douglas county and pay taxes here. Lets share the wealth.

Centrist 10 years, 12 months ago

concernedparent ... I don't look into 'rankings'. I look at the service that I or my family receive. That is a true indicator of performance & quality. If other hospital are worse, then God help us all.

People really shouldn't pay too much attention to 'rankings' anyway. They are rarely 100% accurate, or even truthful and are often commissioned by those companies touting the results.

Like Verizon and their "best network" and "independent surveys". I was with them 4 years ago and had a terrible time. Incompetence is too easy a word for the idiotic capers that went on. Have been with t-Mobile ever since and have had no problems with the network or billing (although their call center crews could use some better training).

Same goes with LMH - from my experiences and those of my family, we have trouble seeing that place as a hospital. Clearly it is more business-oriented, as witnessed in the article today, oh, and when I read this ...

I was not surprised.

Godot 10 years, 12 months ago

Mr Meyer should donate $100,000 to the free medical clinics. Or, refuse the raise, and set aside $100,000 for indigent medical care at LMH.

packrat 10 years, 12 months ago

The ER treated my son's broken arm last week. They were very professional and service was good.

Centrist 10 years, 12 months ago

Maybe they really HAVE changed ... but I maintain that it must have occurred in the last 6-12 months or so.

Either way you look at it, a $100,000 raise is just unbelievable. If they felt they needed to dangle that much of a carrot to keep this guy, then what type of person is he?

lori 10 years, 12 months ago

I simply do not believe that a child was bleeding profusely and no one was doing anything about it. Give me a break.

LHM is a great hospital for it's size and the size of the community. It could always improve, sure. It will never be competitive with KU med center, unless Lawrence suddenly quadruples it's population. It is unreasonable to expect the same services as a tertiary care center.

However, I do have a problem with a 33% raise for the CEO when no significant raise is planned for the people who actually provide care for the patients in the hospital. I can't believe that what he does is so much significantly more important than the staff who are actually on the floors, providing direct care for the patients; this definitely leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. The income gap between the administration and the staff should not be this large, and it definitely should not be growing. It seems to me that if he really were worth the extra hundred grand, he would recognize this and advocate for an across the board increase in employee salaries, instead of just taking care of himself.

working_momma 10 years, 12 months ago

Concernedparent is not only concerned but well informed. I invite anyone who thinks that LMH has substandard ED (emergeny department) care find any better. You will not. Newsflash to the consumers of emergency care, to each individual person their emergecy is the most important, and the job of the ED is to sort and treat accordingly. I also invite society to live up to the perfection standard that healthcare workers are held to. As for why are your waits so long, well you can blame your federal government for that. If is was not so difficult to get primary care services if you have no insurance your ED's would not always be so inundated. ED's have turned into walk in clinics. Any other community should be so lucky to have such stellar ED and superior comprehensive healthcare services.

Centrist 10 years, 12 months ago

Why else would I be so upset at the place? I'm not one of those uninformed ranting types. I call the shots from what I see and hear.

gaiapapaya 10 years, 12 months ago

My family owes LMH quite a bit of money. They are taking it in $25 payments each month. They didn't ask for more and are more than willing to take it as they get it. The debt is due to ER visits not covered by insurance. The first was a severe asthema attack on the evening of Cinco de Mayo. Can you imagine a college town ER on Cinco de Mayo? Chaotic doesn't even start. We were not able to be taken back for about 45 minutes, due to the number of patients already being cared for. A nurse was out to check on my daughter every 5 minutes while we waited. Each time she came out she told me if my duaghter got worse, let them know and she'd be taken back right away. We then waited a few hours for a bed in the pediatric unit. Turns out our wait was due to needing another staff member for the peds unit before my daughter could go up. Reasonable, in my opinion. I want enough staff available for kids in peds if there is an emergency. The rest is for a Sunday morning 3rd gedree burn. Not many health care options on Sunday a.m., so I was glad the E.R. was an option. We received excellent care both times. Not to mention three different staff members wanted my daughter to explain her injuries herself to make sure the story added up and I wasn't the one burning her. That makes me feel better about kids who are abused being questioned in the ER to make sure injuries are accidents and not abuse.

That said, would I ever have another baby at LMH, probably not. I also had an ARNP in the ER question my breastfeeding a nine month old baby and the quality control got an earful about that. But if I need medical care right away and the doctor is closed, I'll take LMH any time.

So I kind of question the "they left my child to bleed" comment. Did your child require a transfusion due to blood loss? Then your child was not in danger. I've had my issues with LMH, but the ER takes emergencies in the order of severity, not first come , first serve.

gaiapapaya 10 years, 12 months ago

In my rant, I forgot to mention that this is way too much of a raise if they didn't approve across the board raises 5%, at least, for all the staff.

cellogrl 10 years, 12 months ago

By the way, it is a federal law that the ER HAS to serve you even if you don't have insurance. So for people to complain about LMH not taking people because they don't have insurance is crazy. As a matter of fact, they don't take your insurance until AFTER the doctor has seen you to avoid the appearance of impropriety in that area. Also, I second gaiapapaya and concernedparent's comments!

lacoov 10 years, 12 months ago

Does his spouse live in Lawrence? No but his girlfriend is an attorney whose practice use to sue people who weren't able to pay their hospital bills. Don't know for sure if that's still the case but she had that contract at one time.

coneflower 10 years, 12 months ago

I question the method they used to qualify this CEO for his raise: revenues generated. Is that gross revenue? Is it profit? Did he have any real control over the number of patients who came to his hospital, since it's the only one in Lawrence? Did he raise profits on the backs of employees who are not being rewarded as well as he is for doing the real work?

This is truly what is wrong with America. CEOs get big paychecks for short-term performance that ignores the long-term effects of their actions. That makes it easy to stiff employees, cut corners, ramp up business any old way, even if those actions in the long run hurt or even destroy the company. It's the American way. I just didn't think it applied to hospitals, too.

karensisson 10 years, 12 months ago

My experience with this hospital is mixed. Their ER has been good, but very, very expensive (try $1,000 for 4 hours in the ER, most of that waiting). Their maternity isn't so great, they are always trying to send a laboring mom home and their staff who help with learning to nurse are so terrible my friend who is a lactation consultant refuses to have anything to do with that program (suspects they are getting paid off by the formula companies, and she's only half kidding). Their bills are hilarious; they charge x, then if you have insurance the bill becomes adjusted to x divided by 2. So poor people who have no insurance get charged double!

$100,000 is too much of a raise for anyone. I cannot believe his performance justifies that. Nobody actually earns that kind of money with their labor.

erod0723 10 years, 12 months ago

how bout they spend that money making the hospital suck not as badly, like improving the er. A person having to wait 3 hours in the er is unacceptable.

lawrenceorbust 10 years, 12 months ago

You should hear what they gave their employees for a Christmas gift last year...a $20 gift certificate to the LMH gift shop! "Here's some money for Christmas, now give it back to us!" How cheap is that? I wonder if that's how Gene saves his pennies...

Wilbur_Nether 10 years, 12 months ago

coneflower wrote "I question the method they used to qualify this CEO for his raise..." and karensisson stated "$100,000 is too much of a raise for anyone...." And I have no disagreement with either of those thoughts. But I still think they avoid the real question: what is the value of this job? If it's a $400K/yr job, then there really isn't much for us to be so upset about....

working_momma 10 years, 12 months ago

Be glad that you had a 3 hour wait. That means that if you came to he ER and it was an emergency you would get right back. The triage nurse is doing his/her job. May I ask what emergency you had to wait 3 hours for?

erod0723 10 years, 12 months ago

Have you ever been to the ER" They are never doing anything there. How many true emergencies come in a night? 1? 3?. The ER is fully staffed at all times, but yet they insist on rediculous wait times. Maybe this is due to the shoddy quality of workers in the ER. The doctor that is staffed in most cases was not good enough to have a department position. Usually ER doctors graduate in the lower third of their medical school class. The nurses, in my opinion, are overworked and underpaid, and are therefore complete B*$&#( es. It shouldn't take a doctor 3 hours to look at someone that is sick or injured. Remember that lady just a week ago that died in the ER because the hospital failed to treat her.

Linda Endicott 10 years, 12 months ago

Well, that's part of the question, Wilbur...why should any CEO make that kind of money, especially in a hospital?

What is the value of MY job? I work with DD adults, a job that many can't or won't do, including management...yet I don't make nearly as much in a year as management does, let me tell you.

Why should what they do be considered more valuable than what I do? I'm in the trenches every day, having to deal with stuff that most people wouldn't believe. Probably the same is true for hospital workers, especially cleaning crews, lab techs, etc., who receive much lower wages.

As I stated before, if management had to do my job, they'd probably run home screaming after a couple of hours.

It takes patience, practice, and skill to do what I do every day, and I for one am damn tired that it's not VALUED.

Some CEO at a hospital already makes more money in a year than I will ever see (even before the raise), and for what? Sitting on his butt, taking power lunches, making phone calls, making bad decisions, and shuffling papers?

He doesn't ever actually have to come in contact with most of the other people who work there, and heaven knows he doesn't have to come into contact with any of the patients.

Wilbur_Nether 10 years, 12 months ago

erod0723 reminded us that a "lady just a week ago that died in the ER because the hospital failed to treat her." However, it wasn't at LMH's ER, and LMH shouldn't be painted with the same brush we paint the MLK, Jr. Harbor Hospital.

erod0723 10 years, 12 months ago

The incident last week brought attention to the poor hospital system we are facing. Hospitals spend high dollar on new equipment that shows promise, but fails to keep an acceptable standard of care to people coming into the ER. This problem will only be compounded in the coming years as a result to the aging of the boomer generation.

workinghard 10 years, 12 months ago

Maybe their profits have increased because they are phasing out all the semi-private rooms. Soon you will only be able to get a private room. I would really like to know if the price of these private rooms will be the same as the semi-private. Does anyone know?

Godot 10 years, 12 months ago

What is the status of the relationship between Blue Cross/Blue Shield and LMH now? I heard that BCBS is no longer contracting with LMH. Is this true?

erod0723 10 years, 12 months ago

private rooms are upwards of 60% more than semi-private rooms. Also, moving to private rooms cuts down on the number of beds the hospital can offer.

working_momma 10 years, 12 months ago

erod I am frequently in the ED and yes they do work. Perhaps indeed you had no real emergency just bad case of entitlement. May I remind you that you can drive youself to any number of metro area er's and see how you fare there.

Bassetlover 10 years, 12 months ago

consumer1 - No, Gene Meyer is not my husband (though I wish my hubby had his salary!). But it is possible to give an objective, unbiased opinion of the LMH emergency room services without knowing the man directly. I do know many people who have worked there for many, many years and their commentary overall on the positive changes that have occurred there in the past 10 years is pretty remarkable. I have no problem with his salary because I know that many other hospitals will be standing in line to grab him for a much high salary if the LMH Board doesn't do everything in their power to retain him. Gene Meyer is highly respected in the hospital world in this region, no doubt. Let's look past the salary for a moment and instead focus on the countless accomplishments he has achieved the past 10 years. This hospital is no longer a joke, as it once was, thanks to his leadership.There are countless other CEOs making tons more who have done much less than he has. Nothing wrong with rewarding a job well done.

erod0723 10 years, 12 months ago

"Perhaps indeed you had no real emergency just bad case of entitlement." I was in an accident and was missing my ear. How dare I feel entitled to having 2 ears.

working_momma 10 years, 12 months ago

Sounds to me like you had an urgent, not emergent medical need erod. Why do I say this???? You obviously did not bleed to death from you missing ear. How do you know that you were waiting because they were treating someone with a more emergent need, like say stroke, or heart attack?

XTC 10 years, 12 months ago

What a salary....Is the hospital accepting applications????

working_momma 10 years, 12 months ago

erod if you have such little faith in the er why did you not go see your primary care doc, since they would not have graduated in the bottom 1/3 of their class???

erod0723 10 years, 12 months ago

workin_mama, We are in obvious disagreement on the quality of ER care at LMH. However, I think we could both agree that 100 grand could put to better use by improving services at the hospital, be it making the ER faster, or providing better pay to key staff (the staff that actually interacts with patients, not the cronies that are in "meetings" all day long).

Homey 10 years, 12 months ago

"A Douglas County District Court jury determined Thursday that Lawrence Memorial Hospital had no negligence in a civil lawsuit filed by a former city employee.

James Combest had sued the hospital for $461,650 in damages, alleging negligence by LMH ultimately resulted in the amputation of his left leg.

But the jury determined the hospital was not negligent in its care.

"I believe that this really is the correct result," said Richard Merker, LMH attorney. "We absolutely did not believe that what happened resulted in the loss of his leg."

Combest's attorney, Michael Shunk, said his client does not plan to appeal."

SloMo 10 years, 12 months ago

I, too, have had a bad experience in the ER at LMH (was ignored for several hours. To be fair, there were a LOT of emergencies that night). So I know it happens.

However, from articles I've read on this subject in the national media (Christian Science Monitor, Newsweek, e.g.), this phenomenon is nation-wide, so I don't blame LMH for it.

goldenhurricane 10 years, 12 months ago

Gene Meyer lives in Cedar Creek in Johnson County, his wife is an executive at St. Lukes

Iluvswissalps 10 years, 12 months ago

Seems like someone forgot to mention that the employees of LMH gave $80,000.00 to the campaign this year. Wow!..Where was this mentioned in the story along with the 33% raise that the CEO got? Oh, yes, all employees of LMH get a across the board salary increase which amounts to about maybe 3% or less. This small increase barely pays for the huge increase in our health insurance. I will not be donating ever again. I agree, maybe it is time for another hospital in Lawrence, maybe the competition would be a wake up call to us all. What, are we living in LA? New York? Maybe their CEO's make that kind of money and more, but this is Kansas. I remember when LMH was avoided at all costs. You only went there if you were dying. People drove to Topeka or Kansas City. Morale was at an all time low back then and no one ever admitted if they didn't have to that they were an employee at the hospital. LMH has made huge improvements, but look around, there is much work to be done in how LMH treats their employees, ALL employees not just the "important people". Look around and you will see yourself inside that hospital areas that need attention. Stop, look and listen, watch the interactions between employees and the public as well as the interaction between employees with other employees. I truly believe that the morale problem has already started again due to this hefty increase for Mr. Meyer. How many of the Board Members that approved this outrageous salary increase work for wages below $10.00 an hour. LMH is not competitive with their salary ranges no matter what department you work for. Any employment in Lawrence is not competitive. Single parents must work two and sometimes three jobs to live in a dump here. Not everyone on this earth can be CEO's, doctors, attorney's or other areas of employment that would afford a higher salary. But surely the hard workers and dedicated workers that take pride in whatever their job might be deserve a decent living wage. Almost $400,000 a year to run a hospital? What are the other employees doing there? Does the CEO run the place all by himself? Where does it stop?

Homey 10 years, 12 months ago

"Lawrence Memorial Hospital has earned national recognition for its "excellence in cardiac care."

In May, VHA Inc., a national health care provider alliance based in Irving, Texas, named LMH as a recipient of the 2006 Leadership Award for Clinical Excellence. LMH was one of 98 member VHA hospitals to receive the recognition.

"This award validates the dedicated focus of our clinical staff and physicians to improve the care we provide cardiac patients," Gene Meyer, LMH president and chief executive officer, said in a news release.

The award is based on the hospital's performance in handling standard protocols in cases of patients suffering heart attacks or heart failures. LMH's performance was based on certain nationally accepted standards. Following those standards have been shown to improve the quality of care and outcomes in heart patient cases.

LMH was recognized for the same award in 2005.

The focus on clinical improvement at LMH has been a team effort, Meyer said.

"This award recognizes that patients are benefiting from our continuing efforts to deliver high-quality care," he said.

In November 2005, LMH began to improve its care in the area of internal cardiology. Previously, the hospital could conduct diagnostic procedures to determine heart blockage but didn't have the resources to treat the problem, so patients were sent to other hospitals.

"Now we have an interventional cardiologist who can do those procedures," LMH spokeswoman Janice Early-Weas said. "That keeps more patients here in town for the procedures deemed important for them."

LMH also is nationally accredited as a chest pain center."

mama2jack 10 years, 12 months ago

Per post by Homey:

"This award validates the dedicated focus of our clinical staff and physicians to improve the care we provide cardiac patients," Gene Meyer, LMH president and chief executive officer, said in a news release."

"The focus on clinical improvement at LMH has been a team effort, Meyer said."

Key components: dedicated focus of CLINICAL STAFF and physicians, clinical improvement at LMH has been a TEAM effort.

What's the old saying I'm looking for.....oh, yeah. There's no "I" in TEAM.

Homey 10 years, 12 months ago

Envy is an emotion that "occurs when a person lacks another's superior quality, achievement, or possession and either desires it or wishes that the other lacked it." At the core of envy seems to be an upward social comparison that threatens a person's self-esteem: another person has something that the envier considers to be important to have. However, what is envied could also be something that is only of personal importance to the envier, even if what the other person has is of little significance in his or her society, or even seen as a sign of inferior status. If the other person is perceived to be similar to the envier, the aroused envy will be particularly intense, because it signals to the envier that it just as well could have been him or her who had the desired object. The word jealous is often used to describe an envious state. In its correct usage, jealousy is the fear of losing something to another person (a loved one in the prototypical form), while envy is the pain or frustration caused by another person having something that one does not have oneself. In some cultures, envy is often associated with the color green, as in "green with envy". The phrase "green-eyed monster" refers to an individual whose current actions appear motivated by envy. This is based on a line from Shakespeare's Othello.

erod0723 10 years, 12 months ago

"What's the old saying I'm looking for:..oh, yeah. There's no "I" in TEAM." But there sure as hell is an M E.

purplesage 10 years, 12 months ago

Obscene and reprehensible. If he has any conscience at all, he will decline. Fat chance.

There are people who can't afford to see the doctor, can't pay for their medications, whose lives and well being are being taken from them because they make $6, or $8 or $10 an hour with no insurance. I just got a quote yesterday on a $2000 per family member deductible health insurance plan for $1039 a month. Why is it so much and why can folks not afford health care? Partly because most everyone in the place (LMH) makes $75K to $100K and up.

While we are at it, the double standard on health care pricing needs to be fixed, too. It is not fair or right for the insured to pay a discounted price while the cash customer really gets robbed.

How does one become a member of the board? Can they be recalled? Is it a paid position, or just one of prestige? How much do they make to vote to make health care even more unaffordable?

purplesage 10 years, 12 months ago

This seems to be the only thing most everyone agrees upon. I read some of the venom that the faith forum and the gay union issues provoked. Not this one.

At least 10 years ago, I recall a tv news magazine doing a story on professional athletes salaries. They calculated every pitch Roger Clemens threw in a game to be $1500. That is obscene and reprehensible, too. (Just a perspective on the issue here.)

I agree with who ever said 100 nurses should get $1000 but think it should start with a buck or two an hour for those on the lowest end of the pay scale. It is a hoot that these organizations handling millions go around with their hands out for "charity".

sinister9128 10 years, 12 months ago

I find it so funny that this hospital asks it's employees on a constant basis, and the city for that matter, to contribute to it's newest expansion and still has the money to increase Mr. Meyer's salary by $100,000. You have got to be kidding me. As a former employee, I can attest to knowing FOR CERTAIN, that the Food & Nutrition Dept. in the hospital, that feeds all patients, staff and visitors, has never once been renovated. The kitchen is currently the same size it was when it was first built. The pipes underneath the kitchen are in serious disrepair and no where, in the expansion plans for the next 5 yrs. are there any planned renovations for that department. In the last yr, the kitchen has had various issues related to lack of care or from age, but yet, no one has made any effort to get any extra money there. Apparentlly, LMH will make more for their own pockets, but not for their patients. Why are certain departments in this hospital on hiring freezes when they are desparately short staffed? Short staffed departments don't cause possible risks for patients? I find that hard to believe, the more short staffed ANY business is, the more likely that business is going to suffer, be it from overworked employees who may make a mistake based on being so busy, patients not receiving prompt care or nursing that has chickens with their head's off. I have never worked for a less caring company in my 16 yrs. of work and I would never work or go there, by choice, as a patient. In the 3 yrs. I worked for the hospital, I saw horrendous healthcare concerns. Honestly, Taco Bell's are run more to code than LMH's kitchen.

An interesting side note, what agency in town is responsible for inspecting the cafeteria in the hospital?? Never once in 3 yrs, did I see an outside agency inspect the cafeteria. The kitchen itself is inspected twice per yr. once by JCAHO (Joint Commission for Accredidation of Healthcare Organizations) and the state. Both of these stay within the confines of the kitchen itself, they do not inspect the cafeteria. Go into that cafeteria sometime and look at the beverage area, look at the mold on the soda nozzles, open the cappucino machine and see the piles of dried coffee, or look in the drains by the hot food lines, notice anything black ih them (yeah, that's mold, by the way). I have been in contact with the KS Dept of Aging and JCAHO to complain about the cafeteria but neither agency sees the need to investigate because it doesn't show an outward "Medicare violation or concern". It is assumed that patients are not fed from the cafeteria, therefore, it's not a concern. But it's ok for the general public and staff to consume this food and suffer these cleanliness issues?

LMH a crappy place to work and a worse place to be a patient.

GregS 10 years, 12 months ago

Come on people, Do you really know the major difference of a "For Profit" and "Not for Profit"? For profit pays *INCOME TAXES, Not for Profit Pays NO INCOME TAXES For profit answers to the owners, Not for profit answers to a board "usually picked by the CEO" For profit business's cannot accept free gifts and donations, That is considered INCOME directly taxed as income to the business. Not for profits can accept all gifts, donations and estates at no cost to them and NOT TAXED. Owners of a for profit business will pay income tax on what they make, and they will pay income tax on what profit the business makes. Not for profits Pay NO income taxes on profits they make, That profit can be given to anyone they chose without any penalty whatsoever. There is a clause in the law that says the wages paid directors and ceo's have to be compatible with the national or area average.....Listen closely to that,,,,thats WAGEs Paid, There is not law or ruling what-so ever that says a not for profit cannot give any and all profits they made to anyone they "ceo and/or Board" chooses.

Now for the simularity's. For profits business's will fail if they do not make a profit. Not for profits will fail if they do not make a profit.

Nothing is wrong with good old american competion in business. Another hospital in lawrence would be good for everyone!

Wilbur_Nether 10 years, 12 months ago

erod0723 quoted the old bromid: "There's no 'I' in 'TEAM.'"

I think it was Michael Jordan who retorted "But there is in 'WIN.'"

Homey 10 years, 12 months ago

"Lawrence Memorial Hospital has been ranked No. 14 in the country among community hospitals that provide heart attack, heart failure and pneumonia care, a new study has found. The study by Colorado-based Total Benchmark Solution is based on data that hospitals submit to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The data details how often the hospital follows recommended procedures for treating certain types of conditions. "I try to think of it in terms of whether we are doing the right things to the right people at the right time," said Gene Meyer, president and chief executive of LMH. "The fact that we have scored so high, I think, is a good indication of the quality of care that we provide." This is the second year that the hospital has made the center's Top 100 list, but this is the first year the group has attached a specific ranking to individual hospitals. The ranking places Lawrence at the top of the list among community hospitals within a 100-mile radius of the city. Two other hospitals in the area ranked in the top 100. They were the Saint Joseph Health Center in Kansas City, Mo., and Saint Luke's South Hospital in Overland Park. Several others ranked outside the top 100 but in the top 25th percentile of the more than 2,000 hospitals that submitted data. Those included the Kansas University Hospital in Kansas City, Kan., Shawnee Mission Medical Center, the St. Francis Health Center in Topeka, and the Olathe Medical Center. The report measured how often hospitals undertook recommended procedures, such as dispensing aspirin to patients who come in with symptoms of a heart attack, giving comprehensive discharge instructions to patients with heart conditions and prescribing appropriate antibiotics to pneumonia patients. Attempts to reach representatives with Total Benchmark Solution, a private company that compiles research for hospitals, were unsuccessful Monday. The report did not rank LMH against all hospitals in the country. It ranked LMH only against other "acute care" hospitals that offer similar services. Meyer said the rankings have the potential to provide the hospital a financial boost in addition to being a good measurement of patient care. Meyer said Medicare and Medicaid are in the process of implementing a "pay for performance" system. The amount of money hospitals are reimbursed for certain procedures will be based on how often they meet the recommended guidelines. Meyer said the federal government also is promoting Web sites that allow consumers to compare rankings of various hospitals, which may become a factor in where patients choose to receive treatment. "We're definitely in a consumer-driven environment these days," Meyer said."

hawklet21 10 years, 12 months ago

Maybe LMH should put this money towards overworked and underpaid employees. And new fans.

camper 10 years, 12 months ago

I think LMH is a good hospital and there are many dedicated and caring professionals there. On the surface, the pay raise does seem to be a bit exorbitant though.

pelliott 10 years, 12 months ago

Their lobby is brass and marble and huge, looks like a first class hotel. The aides and nurses are ran ragged and are underpaid. Everytime I go in to visit someone I hate it more. I bet they spent a million dollars on the foyer. Somebody must be saying, spare no expense. Elevators at the end of the building rather than only in the middle would have been more community friendly. The brass and marble is too much.

resident 10 years, 11 months ago

Last year at this time the Board stated a 3.5% increase in salary, with a one time 15,000 bonus was sufficent to bring the CEO salary in line with the average/comparable salary of 335,000. What has happened in the last year that makes a 33% increase necessary now? What portion of the "profit" was reinvested in the hospital?

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