ClickCease Healthcare Industry Profits During Pandemic

Healthcare Industry Profits During Pandemic

In the midst of a pandemic-induced floundering economy, Kaiser Permanente announced it had achieved $2.2 billion in operating income in 2020. HCA Healthcare reported a profit of $1.4 billion for the fourth quarter of 2020 alone. In a year of belt-tightening and job losses, healthcare profits remain sizeable. This is not surprising. Even with a Covid-19 related reduction in income of 5-15%, hospital income overall in California was forecast to be $38 billion for 2020. Given the annually increasing profits of healthcare corporations, it is harder than ever to watch our medical negligence clients suffer from the economic burdens imposed by California’s harsh and oppressive 45 year-old MICRA laws. Those laws insulate all medical personnel — from ambulance drivers to multibillion-dollar corporations — from paying full damages for the human suffering they cause. Though down 19% from the $2.7 billion profit generated in 2019, Kaiser, HCA, University Medical Centers, Sutter Health, and others are still protected from paying a penny more than $250,000 in non-economic damages for the wrongful death, paralysis or disfigurement of their patients. That is just wrong.