Memorial Hermann is a corporate system of hospitals primarily located in the Houston, Texas area but has branched out to other parts of Texas several years ago. Harris County even wanted to purchase one of their 9 hospitals, Memorial Hermann SW. They had several employee reduction initiatives when they suddenly began acquiring other hospitals throughout Texas. Reportedly the Doctors banded together to block the sale by Harris County.
Fast forward to 2012. A recent e-mail blast by the Memorial Hermann company states:
Tobacco User Surcharge, FY13
In support of reducing healthcare costs and advancing the health of employees, Memorial Hermann will implement a new policy related to tobacco use.
As you are probably aware, Memorial Hermann has taken a proactive stance against the use of tobacco. All Campuses are smoke-free, and the System does not hire tobacco users. In continuation of this commitment to health, effective July 1, 2012, employees who choose to use tobacco products will be charged a $600 annual tobacco user surcharge.