Washington Hospital CEO Nacy Farber took home $876,831 last year. The next highest paid employee was Marin Healthcare CEO Lee Domanico at $498,000.Three of her subordinates were also in the top ten among Bay Area public employees, even though they make less than half what she made.
There’s still fallout at Washington Hospital from Evelyn Li’s film, “Life For Sale.” Doctors, backed by the hospital administration, have started a recall petition against Dr. Bhupinder Bhandari, several sources tell me. Bhandari had been elected by the hospital’s doctors to become Chief of Medical Staff next year.
Bhandari was one of three Washington doctors interviewed in Li’s documentary. Bhandari’s comments were vanilla, and he didn’t specifically refer to Washington Hospital, but the hospital is furious over the film, which it says has no merit.
How mad are they? Well at last week’s board meeting, elected trustees clapped when one doctor urged the board to respond “severely, quickly and expeditiously,” against the doctors who participated in the film.
Later, Hospital CEO Nancy Farber read aloud a petition signed by 276 nurses proclaiming they no longer wanted to work with the doctors and asking the hospital to take action against them.
And, in an even more unusual move, Farber showed security photographs taken of a rally outside the hospital last month and pointed out two doctors who stood with protesters as well as a candidate for the board, Ravi Johal. She intimated that the protest wasn’t organized by nurses’ union over staffing concerns, as was billed, but by Li and supporters of her movie.
Bhandari spoke at the meeting and apologized for his participation in the film.
In seven years of reporting, which has included countless public meetings, I’ve never seen a scene like that. CEOs of public entities do not read aloud calls to essentially fire staff. They also do not show security photographs of a peaceful protest and point out that a hospital doctor and a candidate for the board were in attendance. But that’s what happened. It was truly stunning.
Some candidates for public office roll out a web site or put up signs. Evelyn Li helped make a movie. The Fremont cardiologist, who has been warring with Washington Hospital for several years, today helped unveil a documentary film, “Life for Sale,” which alleges that hospitals intentionally discharge patients who still need care, and retaliate against doctors who to fight the discharges.
The roughly 90-minute movie will be playing at the Cinedome 8 Fremont from Friday through next Thursday. Li, who is running for the Washington Hospital Board of directors in November and served as a film consultant, says that Washington Hospital administrators targeted her for dismissal after she canceled a discharge order for a patient too sick to go home.
Although the filmmakers said the movie is about the hospital industry in general, most of the specific allegations of improper care and administrative heavy handedness were directed at Washington.
A former and current Washington doctor said in the film that hospitals pressure doctors to release patients too early and financially reward doctors who play by hospital rules. They also said that hospitals use peer review as a weapon against doctors who defy hospital orders.
The movie mentioned the $500,000+ salary of Washington CEO Nancy Farber several times. Li was portrayed as a saint.
For the web site click here:
And here is the trailer: