By Mary C. Turner, RN
Mayo Clinic released its 2019 annual financial report at the end of February, and it surely made more than one person’s mouth fall open. A lot of those people, by the way, probably also work on the top floor, management offices of hospitals—not just Mayo.
First, here’s the numbers. Mayo reported the company earned more than $13.8 billion in 2019. That’s money for everything from patient care to Mayo-branded backpacks ($39.95 in the Mayo marketplace store). Out of that, Mayo spent $12.8 billion. This means Mayo’s “operating revenue” is 1 billion dollars! If Mayo was a for-profit company, that would be a profit of $1 billion. That’s not all.
On top of that, Mayo, like a lot of companies, earns money from investments, and that brought Mayo’s total excess revenue to $2.28 billion. To put that in perspective, Mayo not only made more money than any other hospital in Minnesota but even the state of Minnesota.
For example, Allina Health is also a pretty big company with 11 hospitals and 67 clinics. Allina reported the company earned $4.47 billion last year but spent $4.4 billion on operations. That means Allina made a little less than $70 million in operating revenue. Allina investments brought in another $240 million. The state of Minnesota is expected to take in $1.5 billion more from taxpayers than it had budgeted to spend this year.
This means Mayo earned more than 3x more than Allina did last year, but Mayo’s “profit” was 15x bigger than Allina’s. Mayo’s total net income was $500 million more than the state of Minnesota is expected to take in for this tax year.
It’s staggering. It’s mind-blowing. Consider that Mayo isn’t being so generous with its patients. Services have closed in Albert Lea, Fairmont, and Springfield. The money donated to patients who can’t afford their care, or “charity care,” stayed about the same. Mayo made enough money in 2019 to literally give each of its 1 million patients one thousand dollars toward their medical bill.
Also, Mayo doesn’t pay property taxes on its nonprofit-related real estate holdings, including hospitals and clinics, which would go to cities, counties, and school districts. It doesn’t pay corporate income tax to the state, and that’s about 9.8% on profits. Mayo doesn’t even pay sales tax on supplies, including everything from hospital gowns to ink for the office copiers.
It makes every worker question Mayo when its leaders claim what they can and cannot afford or who should and should not be treated by Mayo.