Monday, July 28, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

State health care union attack ad targets NorthBay

By
From page A3 | March 19, 2014 |

FAIRFIELD — The health care workers union took direct aim this week at NorthBay Healthcare in one of a series of ads contending it and several other hospitals are grossly overcharging for medical products and paying their CEOs an exorbitant salary.

The ads, which will air in Solano County and other cable TV markets, are part of the SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West’s efforts to get two measures on the state ballot, the Fair Healthcare Pricing Act of 2014 and the Charitable Hospital Executive Compensation Act of 2014.

In NorthBay’s case, the union uses figures it took from the California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development to contend that NorthBay charges 534 percent above its actual costs while paying its CEO $593,000 a year. It specifically states that the hospital charges $27 for an aspirin and $100 for hydrocortisone ointment.

The Fair Healthcare Pricing Act, if passed, would prohibit hospitals from charging more than 25 percent above the actual cost of providing patient care while the Hospital Executive Compensation Act would prohibit nonprofit hospital executives from making more than $450,000 a year in compensation.

NorthBay representatives immediately fired back, contending the ads are “dishonest and deceptive” and saying that the state source the union pulled its figures from was an antiquated system of list prices.

“No one pays $27 for an aspirin or $100 for ointment,” NorthBay Vice President of Public Affairs Steve Huddleston said Tuesday. “Figures they purport to be real are nothing but numbers on a master billing database that has no relation to reality.”

Dave Regan, SEIU-UHW’s president, said in the release targeting NorthBay that he felt that once Solano County residents saw the ads they will “agree that nonprofit hospitals shouldn’t be allowed to pay their CEOs more than half a million dollars and charge ridiculous prices for the most basic services.”

With the exception of changing the name of the hospital and the county, it was the same comment Regan gave in releases sent to media outlets in Ventura County and Alameda County where the union targeted ValleyCare Medical Center in Pleasanton and Community Memorial Hospital in Ventura.

The union contends that these hospitals also similarly overcharge for medical care and overpay their CEOs.

Regan said the hospitals lost sight of their responsibility to the community and “we plan to put them back on track by passing these ballot measures.”

Huddleston said the measures are flawed and spurious. He said the measures would not improve health care, but “impose arbitrary price caps on targeted hospitals, but exempt many other hospitals which could set their charges without any limits.”

Passing the measures would cost NorthBay an estimated $35 million, which equals the payroll for 300 of its 2,000 employees.

The prices cited from the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development are numbers that each hospital calls its charge master, Huddleston said. The real prices patients are charged is determined by what an insurance company negotiates with a particular hospital, what the government decides to pay for people on Medicare and Medicaid, or what a patient can afford to pay, Huddleston said.

“We can tell them up front what a hospital stay would cost, given his or her health insurance benefits,” Huddleston said.

NorthBay’s prices are above average, but that is because “we serve the community at large,” with NorthBay charging insurance plans more to make up for losses the hospital incurs treating those who can’t pay, he said.

Reach Ian Thompson at 427-6976 or ithompson@dailyrepublic.net. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ithompsondr.

Ian Thompson

Ian Thompson

Ian Thompson has worked for the Daily Republic longer than he cares to remember. A native of Oregon and a graduate of the University of Oregon, he pines for the motherland still. He covers Vacaville and Travis Air Force Base for the Daily Republic. He is an avid military history buff, wargamer and loves the great outdoors.
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 8 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • JimboMarch 18, 2014 - 10:45 pm

    Something is going on with those hospitals and their pricing. An ER visit that originally cost under 500 dollars now cost over 3500 for the exact same thing at the exact same place. Who would think getting 2 bags of saline IV fluid would be such a price difference?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • B. ThiemerMarch 19, 2014 - 6:14 am

    Dave Regan, SEIU-UHW’s president makes over $300,000 a year. I propose the "Labor Union Executive Compensation Act of 2014."

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • larryMarch 19, 2014 - 11:02 am

    I am dealing with this right now at NB! They charged $600 for the pulse ox and $600 for the chamber that is used to administer inhalers to a small child. They charged $300 for albuterol. I could get the chamber and albuterol for under $30 combined at a drug store.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Daniel FullerMarch 19, 2014 - 4:27 pm

    Larry, I can top that. trip Advised by county clinic to go to ER on 1/31/14 for dog bite to forearm. Was treated in hallway and only received a tetanus shot, and on my way. Bill is $3,986.60. prescription for antibiotics 50.00 at CVS. Separate Bill from MD $488.00. Ive asked Northbay FF for itemized bill to understand their reasoning , still waiting. Im applying for assistance from county as we speak, no way I can come up with that,

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Blaming the wrong party.March 19, 2014 - 9:16 pm

    The prices would be lower if the hospital was not trying to recoup the losses of taking care of all the homeless and poor that can not pay their bills. People who call an ambulance every day for a "free" ride to the ER and then complain of "chest pain" and then sit and take up space and receive treatment that they really don't need. But they get food and blankets and then get turned back out, only to call again for the services that everyone knows they'll never pay for. The upper management salary is excessive, but if everyone paid their share then it would not be an issue. The union is only attacking this hospital because they are non union and pay and negotiate with their employees directly. If the unions don't get a cut, they'll come after the hospital. What a shame.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • EMSgirl64March 19, 2014 - 10:55 pm

    Blaming the Wrong Party: You Nailed it!!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Lynne ReeseMarch 21, 2014 - 11:36 am

    Northbay overcharges for everything. They treat everyone like drug addicts and yet charge $3500 for an ER visit-my cost! My dad had a stroke, they sent him home saying he was dehydrated. My mom had a serious bacterial infection, they kept her only one night and she could hear the nurses arguing about who had to go in to treat her. They are an awful hospital and organization. We are switching to Sutter.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • HKMarch 26, 2014 - 2:35 am

    If it's an emergency that can stand the wait, I recommend Queen of the Valley in Napa. Avoid Northbay unless you life absolutely depends on it (and even then, the vets at an emergency pet clinic would be more competent) and you don't mind bankruptcy.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

Rodriguez student collects, stuffs backpacks for others

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
30 years ago, Art Koch died keeping the city safe

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1, 4 Comments | Gallery

Relay for Life of Fairfield was super

By Tony Wade | From Page: A2

 
Weather for Monday, July 28, 2014

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

 
Artistic ingenuity unhinged at Contraptor’s Road Rally

By Adrienne Harris | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Rockville Trail hike offered

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

National Alliance on Mental Illness meeting Monday

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Summertime Fill the Barrel Food Drive ends Thursday

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

Live music at Solano Town Center mall

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
County fair opens Wednesday in Vallejo

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

Food preservation class at library

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Canines graduate from CHP training academy

By Adrienne Harris | From Page: A3

GV Cellars to host Food Bank fundraiser

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Suisun police log: July 26, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

Fairfield police log: July 26, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

 
Renowned cardiovascular surgeon comes to NorthBay

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A10

Business workshop addresses marketing

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A10

 
Fairfield gets new pizza shop

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A10, 1 Comment | Gallery

.

US / World

Bills aim to bring family law into 21st century

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
UConn makes 3-D copies of antique instrument parts

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Family law bills proposed in California

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Man dies after lightning strikes 14 in California

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

California governor to meet with Mexican president

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Study: Blue whales at risk of hitting ships

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Gaza war rages despite Hamas, Israel truce pledges

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Fighting intensifies near MH17 disaster site

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

.

Opinion

It’s clear: Israel wants West Bank, not peace

By Jack Batson | From Page: A8

 
Arrogance of power evident

By Earl Heal | From Page: A8

 
California’s death penalty dying of old age

By Dan Walters | From Page: A8

Editorial Cartoon: July 28, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
District needs peanut-free schools

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 2 Comments

.

Living

Today in History for July 28, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: July 28, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Randall: Why a ‘liar’ loves to hear from readers

By Sharon Randall | From Page: B5

 
My 33-year-old daughter blames me for all her problems

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A7

Horoscopes for July 28, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A7

 
.

Entertainment

Comic-Con: ‘Avengers’ unleash ‘Ultron’ footage

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
TV team: Actor, detective role paired for 25 years

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Comic-Con: Kingsley voices animated villain in ‘Boxtrolls’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
‘Lucy’ tops ‘Hercules’ with $44M at box office

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

TVGrid July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Comic-Con’s dark side: Harassment amid the fantasy

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Comic-Con: ‘Hobbit’ cast tease trailer, bloopers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Comic-Con: 4 DC Comics brought to TV get event

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Comic-Con: Radcliffe goes undercover as Spidey

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Comic-Con: ‘Ant-Man’ cast revealed: Lilly, Douglas, Rudd

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Comic-Con: ‘Blacklist’ fans get black fedoras

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

‘The Vampire Diaries’ takes bite out of Comic-Con

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Comic-Con: ‘Batman v Superman’ stare-down

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Comic-Con: Godzilla sequel announced

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
TVGrid July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A10

.

Sports

McGloin buried on Raiders depth chart again

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Giants lose in Peavy’s debut, swept by Dodgers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Lawrence Okoye preparing for the NFL

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
 
It’s ‘Jeff Gordon Day’ at Indy for record 5th time

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Byron Scott says he will be LA Lakers’ new coach

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Jaso has 3 RBIs as A’s beat Rangers 9-3

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Horsey wins Russian Open in playoff

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Tim Clark rallies to win Canadian Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Spain sweeps to victory in International Crown

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Langer wins Senior British Open by record 13 shots

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Mudcats take pair from Pro Player Baseball

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

 
The Big Hurt and Joe Torre headline HOF class

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali wins Tour de France

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
LeBron deep-sixes number; will be No. 23 with Cavs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

This date in sports history for Monday, July 28, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

Elizabeth Terry

By Adrienne Harris | From Page: A4

 
Robert Dale Myers Sr.

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Pickles July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Frank and Ernest July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Beetle Bailey July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Peanuts July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

B.C. July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
For Better or Worse July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Get Fuzzy July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Wizard of Id July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Baldo July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Dilbert July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Baby Blues July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Sally Forth July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Rose is Rose July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Blondie July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Zits July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Garfield July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Bridge July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Crossword July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Cryptoquote July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Word Sleuth July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Sudoku July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Sally Forth July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Zits July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Dilbert July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Get Fuzzy July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Rose is Rose July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

For Better or Worse July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
B.C. July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Wizard of Id July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Baldo July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Blondie July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Baby Blues July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Beetle Bailey July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Pickles July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Garfield July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Peanuts July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Frank and Ernest July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Cryptoquote July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Sudoku July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Crossword July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Bridge July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Word Sleuth July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7