U of California approves $3.1M in incentives to senior managers

Things may be tough in the hospital finance world, but that hasn't stopped the University of California's Board of Regents from handing out millions in incentive pay to managers who met 2009 performance goals.

The Board is expected to formally approve $3.1 million in incentive pay to 38 senior managers who met performance goals such as improving patient safety and raising revenue. Overall positive results cited by UCSF leaders include a 5 percent drop in one type of infection and an 89.5 percent satisfaction rate.

If approved tomorrow, the payouts will range from $30,120 to $218,728, as specified in the executives' offer letters when they were hired. None of the money will come from state funds.

While hospital officials say the payouts are simply in compliance with the deals struck in individual execs, rank-and-file hospital employees are expressing anger, noting that many have had pay cut or were even been laid off. Staffers did receive incentive pay last year, averaging $1,391, but that came on top of pay cuts and was often less.

Nursing unions, in particular, argue that the bonuses reward chronic understaffing of nurses and other health staffers. For example, nurses in transplant units are responsible for five patients rather than the recommended four, according to Beth Kean, director of the California Nurses Association, who spoke with the San Francisco Chronicle.

To find out more about the incentive payments:
- read t his San Francisco Chronicle piece

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