Letter to the Editor: Time to re-think pay ranges

Published 5:17 pm Friday, April 5, 2024

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Many seniors in Austin, Minnesota read in the Rochester MN Post Bulletin an article titled “Should top Mayo Clinic leaders make millions?”  Like the Minnesota Nurses Association, we agree with their answer of NO.

Services at Austin’s Mayo do NOT cover dermatology, wound care or ear, nose, and throat care.  Eye exams are possible, but we must visit Albert Lea (about 30 miles away) to select frames. Surrounding Mayo facilities are cutting some services — or pulling out entirely. Needed surgery (not for an emergency) is out two months or more! Some of our appointments are now being charged $30 upfront. We are all on Medicare, so this is one way that hospitals “are nickel and diming low-income patients for care.”

Recently, a friend in his early 80s needed to go on a Friday afternoon around 3 p.m. to the Family Medical section of Mayo in Austin. Many tests were taken to help determine his needs, but the results were unavailable by 5 pm. That is when the Family Medical section closes, so he needs to be moved to the emergency room to wait for the test results. Then he was to be transported to another hospital for a bed.

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When using the Mayo Parent Portal (which does not function well) or when calling to get an appointment, we are put on hold for 15-20 minutes. The message we hear is “The patient’s needs come first.” That is not what is happening.

The article written by Jeff Kiger (jkiger@postbulletin.com) has many salient points, including a chart of CEO vs. RN Pay. RN pay compared to CEO pay ranges from 1:2 to 42:1. Mayo comparison is 41:1.

Jeff Kiger mentions that Senators Bernie Sanders and Chuck Grassley are questioning the salaries of nonprofit CEOs. Hopefully, more discussions about this issue will continue.

Jane Greco

Austin, MN