Allina Health Integrity and Irony

Allina Health Integrity and Irony

By Mathew Keller

Mathew Keller, RN JD Regulatory and Policy Nursing Specialist
Mathew Keller, RN JD
Regulatory and Policy Nursing Specialist

Integrity. Respect. Trust. Compassion. Stewardship. These are the core values of Allina Health. The Oxford dictionary defines integrity as “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.” So why, then, does Allina continue to tell its nurses that it needs to shift $10 million in healthcare costs to them? In 1,664 pages of financial disclosures to the IRS and its bond investors from 20012014, Allina never once represents that it is anything but highly profitable, making a reported $1.3 billion dollars in net revenue over the past 6 years alone.

Allina, in fact, pulled in $130 million in “net revenue” (fancy word for profit) after expenses in 2015, according to its “audited” consolidated financials (prepared by KPMG, a business represented on Allina’s Board). That’s $130 million after writing off $33 million in losses on investments, after writing off $17.6 million on “interest rate swaps” it has with certain businesses represented on its Board of Directors, after paying its top 25 executives $23.9 million dollars in salary alone.

Besides that spending spree on salaries, Allina has taken out $880 million in loans, mostly underwritten by businesses on Allina’s Board; lost $60 million on bad deals made to many of those same businesses; spent another $108-million-dollar investment in a for-profit company called Health Catalyst where Allina CEO Penny Wheeler is also a Board member; and now wants to cut $10 million in healthcare expenses to nurses.

Allina is making money and spending money, but it’s also saving money too. There’s plenty of money stashed away, including $1.2 billion invested in the stock market, hedge funds, private equity, etc.; and $350 million in cash. All told, Allina is sitting on $2.3 billion dollars in net assets after liabilities, including its investments, cash, and infrastructure after accounting for all of the various debts it owes. Let’s call that 2.3 billion reasons for the state’s Attorney-General to take a long and hard look at the way this community resource is conducting itself in business.

Despite its big debt and questionable business deals, providing healthcare remains extremely lucrative for Allina. But the core value of stewardship, or “the job of… taking care of something,” demands that Allina stop throwing money away on bad business deals and debt on which businesses on its Board of Directors profit, or on short-sighted attempts to diminish the healthcare benefits of its nurses, and instead start investing more in the healthcare of its employees. All of them.

34 Comments

  1. As my wise, old grandpa would say, “Watch out for those wheeler-dealers!”

  2. As one of those nurses they seem to have no respect for I believe this just proves its not going to stop with insurance next they’ll be telling us it’s just bad business to continue maintaining our pensions. I’ve lost a lot of respect for Allina?

  3. NOT FOR PROFIT, that status needs to be re-evaluated! Let’s really invest in what counts, those that actually provide the care, represent the mission!

    A dedicated direct care RN

  4. I guess if you have lost respect for Allina, then you should go find work elsewhere. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side but why do you go find out for yourself.

  5. Mathew Keller, RN JD, someday you are going to look in the mirror and ask, “Where was my integrity and self respect when I was writing those terrible stories about a trusted company that wanted what was best for its patients and all of its employees, including nurses.”

  6. Thank God for floor Nurses. They understand.

  7. Yes, that trusted non-profit company stashing billions in the bank while telling wall street it’s rich and its nurses that it’s poor! Makes perfect sense.

  8. Madier, Allina PR person, someday you will also look in the mirror and ask yourself, how did I defend such a corrupted, greedy, non-profit in name only company that could care less about its patients, employees, and nurses? Stories you say? These are facts. Greed will be humanity’s greatest downfall – and people like you are only contributing to the problem.

  9. Mathew Keller, RN JD, has integrity and self respect. He is just presenting facts. It is called transparency, something that should be valued.

  10. Thank you for posting numbers and rhetoric. Have you been in any of the financial meetings? Have you taken a close look at turn in Healthcare and the steep decline of poor reimbursement that is headed our way? I wish you would take the time to see things from 365° rather than the union party line.

  11. Gunslinger– call me crazy but I think a circle is 360 degrees.

  12. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that Allina has headed down this road. The whole country has gone by way of grabbing exerything you can, I’ve got mine, get your own. This mentality will be the death of the middle class, it has already begun. I am so sad that this company I used to feel proud to work for has decided it’s nurses are nothing more than a bottom line and easily replaced. Tgey will lose many good, experienced, loyal nurses when all is said and done. And our patients will suffer for that. Nice job Allina. With sincere disgust, from one of your RN’s….

  13. Allina keeps saying it is a leader in health care. So let me ask……as a leader why do they want to follow TRENDS in health care and insurance ??? Be a leader again Allina, show the public that you care about your #1 assets (your emplyees). Only then you will have people knocking down the doors to be a part of this fabulous company and people will go out of their way to get their cares at Allina. Be a “trend setter”, not a follower, be a leader again ALLINA !!!

  14. Hey Madeir,
    Where was Allina’s integrity when they got audited in 2001 by the attorney general for not spending their money on the greater good but rather extravagant golf trips and double dipping in the pot with medica being their hmo and Allina owning part of medica. And where was Allina’s integrity in 2007 when nurses agreed to no wage increases due to the recession but come to find out in 2008 they millions to invest in Heath catalyst. I think what Allina has done and is doing is far worse than an article posting facts.

  15. 365° Is a standard requiring you to not just come back to your starting point but re-evaluate your original argument. I should have explained that rather than letting you figure it out.

    In your esteemed evaluation, what is the appropriate financial status of a Healthcare organization? I assume you looked closely at the financial reports and plans that Allina Health has and you know where the money is going.

  16. I’m guessing Gunslinger works for Allina in some form or another. As does Madeir who’s been exposed. Facts are facts. The obvious conflict of interests of the board members is appalling. This is just another example of corporate greed and backroom deals designed to enrich the elite of Allina and screw the workers devoted to patient care and just trying to make a decent living. I really hope this gets the attention of the media and the attorney general, AGAIN!.

  17. “Greed is good….” Gordon a Gecko, Wall Street

  18. I wonder where these corporate big shots will be going for healthcare when they need it? When they want the best in medicine, surgery AND intelligent, competent and compassionate nurses. I would have a hard time caring for one.

  19. AGREE!!!

  20. Not trying to start arguments but trying to educate myself. Is MNA non-profit?

  21. I have yet to see anything written about how it is that Fairview, Methodist, etc. CAN apparently afford to keep the health insurance plans that Allina supposedly can’t. My opinion of Allina has changed drastically . I wonder about the wealthy people in the community who have donated large amounts of monetary gifts to Allina ; do they think Allina is still such a great entity? Their money would do greater good in MNA’s hands!

  22. Oh my gosh, people. Such hate. Can’t you feel that in side your entire being? Please just go. Go find a place that will make you happy. Stop spreading the hate; the world has had enough.

  23. Fighting for your rights is hate? Everyone should just roll over and let big corporations do whatever they want to employees to save them money at the expense of the employee? This is a great country where we are free to express our thoughts and opinions and fight for our rights. If you don’t like it, maybe you should “just go” live somewhere you won’t have any rights like we do.

  24. I’ve come from that place. I have accepted the changes that healthcare in America has been going through as most everyone has. You go ahead an fight. Fighting comes from hate. Look at everyone’s words. We are all just people, it’s just too bad. Just people.

  25. Ms. “Rhonda Lee,” if disclosing a corporation’s financial status as well as the conflicts of interest on the Board of Directors is “spewing hate,” then we’re all in trouble. What I fail to understand, is what changes in healthcare in America force employers to decrease the total compensation of their employees? That case has not been made. Nobody has described to me why I deserve worse health insurance than my parents, and why my children deserve worse health insurance than me.

  26. Allina does care about it’s #1 asset- its employees….that is why they do offer healthcare benefits that don’t make you bankrupt (shocking, I know!). And….it’s what all your TEAMMATES on the same healthcare TEAM you are on, caring for your same patients have. No one individual group puts the care in healthcare. Sure, maybe back in the day when doctors and nurses worked along side each other and nurses also functioned as x-ray techs, OR techs, lab techs, NAs, transport and house keeping….but get off your high horse and recognize you are part of a TEAM today.

    You should not be entitled to healthcare benefits that no one else on your team has…..and if you say it’s always been this way, find someone who hasn’t had their healthcare coverage change in the past 3-5 years. News flash, healthcare costs are rising!

  27. I guess Allina nurses and their Union needs an excuse again for their greediness. Get off your high horse nurses. You are no better than a plumber or janitor. You touch shit just like they do and are a servant. I am sick and tired of nurses thinking they are so much better. I don’t even see doctors whine as much as nurses do or have that disgusting sense of entitlement. I am a nurse and I am glad I work for a place now that doesn’t have a Union.

  28. That disgusting sense of entitlement to safe staffing, their current level of healthcare, and workplace safety. How disgusting.

  29. Dearest Publius,
    Your comment is very disturbing. You mention “disgusting sense of entitlement to safe staffing and workplace safety”. Being a retired community member who has used Allina services and hospitals, I have been following the negotiations with great interest. Workplace safety should be an expectation for everyone everywhere; it is not an entitlement. To me safe staffing means safe patients too. I have chosen to cancel my upcoming surgery at an Allina hospital, and it is being rescheduled elsewhere. Allina’s attitude as well as yours do not coincide with what I would want and expect in a health care system. It doesnt seem like a happy cohesive team of workers at Allina. That affects care too.

  30. Apologies, Margaret– that was intended as sarcasm, in response to “AK”‘s comment about “disgusting sense of entitlement.” Of course expecting to maintain your current level of health insurance, or expecting to not be beat up at work, or expecting safe staffing levels, is not in fact indicative of a “disgusting sense of entitlement.” It’s a baseline expectation of any moral, non-profit employer who provides healthcare services.

  31. And for those that think “we” don’t deserve good health insurance. You are playing right into corporate America’s hands. Fighting for scraps, you should be asking, why doesn’t everyone have good insurance? Keep on arguing against your own best interest. Maybe you’ll be lucky and Trump will get into office, then you can see why these are important fights to have. Without our unions, we’d be like you. Hating on everyone who has something they want. And no, Nurses don’t think we are better than anyone, we just stand up and fight for our convictions.

  32. Rhonda Lee, you “accepted” the changes. Good for you for being a pacifist and accepting whatever is offered. Thank God this country was built by people fighting for what we believe in, which we list in our Declaration of Independence and our Bill of Rights. The more we silently just roll over and “accept” what is offered, the more we loose, or in this case, the more we pay. By “we” I mean the general public and not just the nurses, which I am not by the way.

  33. AK and the others who do not have the guts to sign their real name. If a nurse is just the same as a janitor or plumber have them do your care when you are hospitalized. With your attitude about nurses as servants and not deserving of anything I am sure that you are not only a poor advocate for your patients but also for yourself. Which leads me to think that you are in management. If I were to choose a nurse I would want an educated professional not a passive “servant”.

  34. The public is not aware of the issues, so this is a lose/lose situation for Allina and the Nurses Union. Personally, It is affecting my cCtaract Surgery and I won’t forget it.

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