More Venture Marxists

We’ve been pretty critical of Jack Johnson’s slow motion coup at Dimensions Healthcare. It is pretty obvious he’s out to take actual, if not titular, control of that troubled corporation and, given the machine he’s attempting to build in PG County, one can only assume that he wants it for the patronage it would provide.

Having said that, it is clear that Johnson is correct in some of his criticism and that Dimensions Healthcare is currently in the grip of venture marxists who ape the salaries and benefits of privately held corporations while using public monies.

The largest hospital network in Prince George’s County continues to pay six-figure severances to former executives and big fees to outside lawyers, totaling a combined $1.7 million last year, despite its worsening financial situation.

For the second time in three years, a former chief executive officer for Dimensions Healthcare System received more than $400,000 in severance pay and benefits, at a time when the company is pleading with Maryland and county officials for a steady source of funding to avoid closure.

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Dimensions has a tough job. Just like DC General, Dimensions serves a population that is largely either uninsured or underinsured. As a result, a lot of its expenses go unreimbursed. Serving this particular demographic requires intensive management. I don’t know the financial difficulties of Dimensions in detail but DC General routinely didn’t seek reimbursement for services even when such reimbursement was available. It is one thing to be charitable. It is a completely different thing to be nonchalant about spending taxpayers money.

I can’t dispute the necessity of paying these severance packages. They were negotiated at part of employment contracts. Willing buyer, willing seller, and all that. What is indisputable is that the packages are extraordinarily generous and unconscionably so given the nature of Dimensions funding: county tax dollars.

The board and managment of Dimensions was either asleep and the switch when these contracts were negotiated or they had no thought at all about squandering public money.

Either way, they have made the case for Jack Johnson taking over much stonger.

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