Aetna CEO receives bonus increase on the backs of chiropractic providers and their patients.

Aetna CEO receives bonus increase on the backs of chiropractic providers and their patients.

In the news was clear that Aetna was having a good year. According to USA Today, they stated

“Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini may have gotten a lower bonus for failing to meet performance goals in 2012, but his overall compensation jumped 25%, the healthcare insurer says.”

And that’s not including a $34.2 million gain from vested stock and exercising previously awarded stock options.

Aetna says total 2012 shareholder return was 11%.

Last year, Bertolini received compensation valued at about $13.2 million, vs. $10.6 million in 2011, Aetna says in its latest annual proxy statement.

Bertolini’s bonus award was cut 55% last year to $892,000 from $2 million in 2011 for failing to meet financial performance goals. But Bertolini’s overall compensation increased because of a stock award valued at $11.1 million, vs. a $7.3 million stock award in 2011.”

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How are they able to do this? One of the ways is by taking advantage of healthcare providers such as chiropractors, your primary care physician and more, while charging you more yearly while you get less for your healthcare dollar. Last year, Aetna decided to single out chiropractors for the code 97140 which is how all providers bill for soft tissue (muscle work). This arbitrary decision was just there a year ago August without warning. The NJ department of insurance made them delay this until it officially took effect recently.

What it means is that they are stealing from your provider, since the standard in the healthcare industry is being violated by Aetna’s policies. The ANJC, the NJ chiropractic providers association met with Aetna concerning this and other issues concerning Triad who is also stealing from providers by reducing reimbursements in a take it or leave it scheme. What they did is clearly not kosher and is being challenged, since it is a national problem, not just a state problem when an insurance company rewrites the rules for coding so they can fleece providers who work hard to help you feel better and live healthier lives.

This, of course is just the chiropractic profession. How has your medical provider been treated lately. I am sure if you asked them about it, they would have their own story to tell.

While this may sound like sour grapes, it is truthful and should not be ignored. They would rather starve your provider than pay for you to improve. Most chiropractic providers will do their best work anyway however, as most of us know in the industry, costs go up, not down and either your provider sees more patients, spends less time or finds another vocation such as teaching or sales that has a better economic opportunity. Also, you are likely paying more this year than last and your deductible or co pay is likely higher as well so they are stealing from all of us, while their PR machine tells us how health costs continue to rise. The reality, is that the use of doctors and procedures continues to be reduced, costing them less as well. The new math is, higher premiums=less coverage+ smaller networks+lower payments to your doctor/their PR machine making us think costs are rising and using the press to echo it over the internet.

If you have not read it yet, read Stephen Brills article on healthcare costs. We are all being taken advantage of and if you are insured with a high deductible plan, you are now The New Self Insured.

As for CEO Mark Bertolini, is the new definition of performance goals finding more money by charging more and harming providers? Doesn’t the evidence speak for itself? I give it five years and when this fraud is fully exposed, and we are out billions of dollars with a totally dysfunctional health care system, we are Medicare for all. It will likely begin with offering those over 50 Medicare and when the cost savings take effect, it will spread like wildfire, and then we will become like most westernized nations. This will save us health care dollars and it will only be the beginning. How’s that for an economic stimulus.