Ok, I had to wait to calm down before I wrote this blog. The very fact that a healthcare system touts itself as both non-profit as well as for-profit collection of care systems has decided to purchase the naming rights of an arena seems to go against the very nature of what it says is its core values. I hope everyone understands that it is their premium dollars that are purchasing those naming rights for over $23 million dollars. At a time when insurance premiums are skyrocketing because of government’s interference in the private market (Obamacare), a provider is spending ridiculous amounts of its resources on marketing.
Here is my question. Why don’t you use those resources to drive down your unit costs for care? Or here is another thought. Use those resources to hire and retain the staffing for your facilities? Or finally, why not use those resources to educate and train the future providers of care? These are my premium dollars being used, please use them wisely. Don’t get me wrong, I have been a recipient of care with CHI over the last number of years and think they are fantastic. What I don’t understand, and why I am upset, is the fact that providers don’t have money without the financing health insurance provides. To use my dollars to “market” their name is in direct conflict with the mission statement that they tout. CHI’s mission statement is “Our mission and vision are built around strengthening healthy communities and advancing social justice.” Just exactly how does this purchase strengthen the community’s health and advance social justice? Maybe they will set up free clinics in some of the suites and provide tickets to events for homeless people.
I don’t have a problem with a company using their marketing dollars to convince people to use their products as long as they don’t try and tell me they are non-profit. Can you imagine today if a health insurance company were to try and buy naming rights to a stadium? They would be ridiculed in the press for wasting their money and they might even come under federal scrutiny for a variety of reasons. Even though they are trying to get new clients to purchase their products, they would be seen as the villain. In this case, a health system, located where most people don’t have a choice as to where they get care, can purchase naming rights and no one bats an eye. There should be outrage that an entity that can’t produce transparent pricing but somehow can magically outbid other for-profit businesses that could use the exposure.
Okay, I have gotten that off my chest. I am sure I don’t understand all of the dynamics that were used by CHI to make this decision, but with the fact that we have Nebraskan families either going without coverage or paying upwards of $40,000 a year in premiums, it seems a much better use of these resources would be to lower the costs of care. I for one am not looking forward to the rates being released this fall and wonder if consumers will link those rates with the decision of CHI to use those dollars for naming rights.
Hey, maybe we will get free tickets to Creighton games if you get hospitalized.