Minnesota system CEO defends benefit cuts in 2024 budget

The debate around Hennepin (Minn.) Healthcare's budget left some government officials insisting on more oversight of top leader pay and worker benefits, according to the Star Tribune.

On Dec. 12, the Hennepin County Board, which oversees Hennepin Healthcare, approved a $1.5 billion budget for the health system, which includes a safety-net hospital. The budget made changes to the insurance plan to raise premiums and reduce coverage, and the change could make it more difficult to recruit clinicians and staff to the already understaffed health system.

County commissioners voted to approve the budget as long as Hennepin provides more information about how the insurance changes will affect employees and tells the board about potential pay raises for leaders before awarding them. Hennepin CEO Jennifer DeCubellis received a 15% pay raise in 2023.

Ms. DeCubellis told the board the benefit cuts were made to close a $127 million budget gap.

"Healthcare financing is broken. The funding it takes to deliver the provision of care doesn't adequately make it to provider organizations as it should. This is not sustainable," Ms. Decubellis wrote in a statement.

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