HOW LOW CAN YOU GO? UHS PLUMBS THE DEPTHS IN SPENDING ON FLORIDA STAFFING

HOW LOW CAN YOU GO? UHS PLUMBS THE DEPTHS IN SPENDING ON FLORIDA STAFFING

Go to the website of UHS’s Sun Coast Behavioral Health Center and you’ll find soothing pictures of smiling children and beaming adults.

On its homepage, the Bradenton, Fla., psychiatric facility says, “We pride ourselves on providing the highest level of healthcare services to our patients.” But dig a little deeper and a very different picture of Sun Coast emerges.

If you look at the percentage of revenues that Sun Coast devotes to staff compensation, it has the lowest level of spending of any comparable facility in Florida.

Among all short-term psychiatric hospitals in Florida, median spending on staff salaries, wages and benefits is 45.2 percent of revenues. But Sun Coast devotes just 26.7 percent of its revenue to staff compensation.[1]

Sun Coast is joined at the bottom of the barrel by two other UHS hospitals, which devote a smaller share of revenues to staff than any other Florida facilities:

  • UHS’s Wekiva Springs Center in Jacksonville spent just 30.8% of revenue on staff pay & benefits in 2013.
  • UHS’s River Point Behavioral Health, also in Jacksonville, spent just 32.8% of revenue on staff compensation.

Wekiva Springs and River Point have earned another dubious distinction. Both of them are being investigated by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Criminal Fraud Section.

Unfortunately, these three facilities are not an aberration in UHS’s Florida operations. Altogether, median spending on staff by UHS’s short-term psychiatric facilities is just 40.3 percent of their revenues; roughly five percentage points below the state median.

One has to wonder how UHS can provide “the highest level of healthcare services” to patients when it’s spending so little on the staff that provide that care.