Iowa public hospital fights employee pay disclosures

A tax-supported hospital in Iowa is fighting to keep its employee salary and bonus figures secret, arguing such a disclosure could compromise its ability to function. The hospital is arguing that doctors, in particular, would refuse to work at the hospital if they knew their pay could be disclosed to the public.

Iowa law states salaries and job information for hospitals funded by a tax levy are public records. But Davis County Hospital is fighting the rule, seeking an injunction allowing it to refuse requests for this information. Davis attorneys are pinning their hopes on a state law that says government agencies can keep public information confidential if disclosure would cause harm.

Davis did publish a list of positions at the hospital, along with associated pay ranges, but the pay ranges weren't tied to the names of specific employees. The hospital has also disclosed a list of bonuses paid since January 2006, including medical provider sign-on bonuses ranging from $4,825 to $17,500 and a production bonus of $21,522 paid to another provider.

To find out more about the dispute:
- read this Des Moines Register article