Massachusetts hospitals stockpile $1.6B in offshore accounts, nurses say

Sixteen hospitals and health systems in Massachusetts have more than $1.6 billion in the Cayman Islands and other tax havens, according to a report issued by the Massachusetts Nurses Association.

The nurses union is calling on state lawmakers to support the Hospital Profit Transparency and Fairness Act, legislation that requires hospitals to disclose financial holdings and profits, including money kept in offshore accounts. The legislation would also place limits on nonprofit hospital and health system CEO pay and claw back excessive profit. Those funds would be placed in a newly created Medicaid Reimbursement Enhancement Fund.

"We can improve our healthcare system by shining a light on hospital finances, limiting excessive CEO pay and ensuring that the public has a stronger voice in shaping how our healthcare dollars are spent," Karen Coughlin, RN, vice president of the Massachusetts Nurses Association, said in a press release.

Massachusetts Rep. Josh Cutler, a bill co-sponsor, said more financial transparency at nonprofit healthcare organizations is vital.

"Our Medicare, Medicaid and other state tax dollars fund hospital corporations, but what those corporations do with our money can be at odds with public service," he said. "This bill will allow the public to see exactly where our tax dollars are going — especially if they end up in the Cayman Islands — and limit excessive hospital CEO pay. We should instead spend that money helping our most vulnerable patients."

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