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HCA Healthcare, one of the world’s wealthiest hospital chains, earning more than $7 billion in the past two years and worth $36 billion, paid its chief executive $26 million in 2019.

However, as the pandemic spread across America, HCA did not provide adequate protective gear to medical staff, froze wages for nurses, and has laid off or cut pay for tens of thousands of doctors, nurses and lower-paid workers.  All this has happened as HCA received about $1 billion in bailout funds from the federal government to stabilize hospitals during COVID-19. Still, HCA continued to pay top executives to with only modest pay cuts.


  1. Has this been a norm for most hospitals? Discuss.
  2. How are furloughs and layoffs defended by the industry?
  3. What were the formulas to determine how much money hospitals received based on? What would have made more sense and why?
  4. Discuss an item in the article that troubled you the most. Did it trouble you based on ethics or on accounting efficacy?


Silver-Greenberg, J., J. Drucker, and D. Enrich. (2020) . Hospitals Got Bailouts and Furloughed Thousands While Paying C.E.O.s Millions. The New York Times, June 8 (Retrievable online at