Hospitals say they’re not making profits and that they’re not making profits

Higher wages for workers at private hospitals? Voters in Duarte and Inglewood to decide

Duarte and Inglewood voters stand to decide this spring whether to approve hospital raises that health workers say could double their salaries.

The hospitals argue their pay increases are needed to offset rising costs of treating sicker patients and to attract the best workers from across the country. They also point to the fact that their patients are getting better, and therefore they’re spending more — and that their competitors are not.

Health workers say the hospitals’ decision to raise salaries is unfair.

“I know those working at private hospitals make a decent wage,” said Dr. Roberta S. Lopez, an obstetrician at St. Joseph’s Hospital, in Inglewood. “But the doctors, the nurses and the technicians are not making the same salaries. And they can’t afford to keep up with the costs.”

Some doctors say they’re concerned the hospitals are not being transparent about how much they are spending.

“We’re giving them huge savings because the patient is getting better,” said Dr. Jeffrey J. Stipek, a physician at St Joseph’s and an assistant professor at the University of Southern California. “But why isn’t the money being used to pay off the debt so the hospital can expand to deal with the increased cost of care?”

The hospitals said they’re not making any profits and that the costs of caring for sick patients are escalating faster than inflation. They argued they’re struggling with the cost of buying medical equipment as well as rising salaries.

Some say they’re concerned about patient safety.

“When you go in to see a patient, do they take their shoes off?” asked Dr. Mark J. Derevensky, an obstetrician and gynecologist at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. “You don’t want to have a patient walking in your office with a big blister or something.”

“There’s no evidence that salaries in the emergency room could raise the quality of patient care,” said Dr. Jose Rodriguez, an obstetrician and gynecologist at St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital in New

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