By Kathleen O’Connor
Publisher of the O’Connor Report
This year was the first year that hospitals in Washington State were required to report their executives’ compensation. I did not conduct this research independently.
The figures below are what the hospitals themselves reported to the Department of Health. The complete list of executive pay in not-for-profit hospitals can be found on The Department of Health website here.
For profit hospitals were not required to report their executive compensation, presumably for proprietary reasons. Some hospitals and hospital systems apparently chose not to report. See the list of non-responders at the end of this article.
These salaries raise more questions than answers. The differences between hospitals are staggering and incomprehensible. I offer questions for Boards of Directors and consumers at the end of the article.
We have several millionaires. Some in places I would not have predicted. In order of magnitude:
- Gary Kaplan, MD, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle $3,737,678
- John Evans, Jr., Central Washington Medical Center, Wenatchee $1,766,084
- Rich Roodman, Valley Medical Center, Renton $1,285,860
- Elaine Couture, Providence Sacred Heart, Spokane $1,034,994
- Medrice Caluccio, Providence St. Peter, Olympia $1,010,027
Top Seattle Hospitals
The following is the compensation details only for the top administrator at the four top Seattle hospitals. Swedish has several sites.
Details on other executives’ compensation are included in the compensation data on the DOH website referenced above.
Harborview Medical Center:
Eileen Whalen, base salary $485,000, bonus incentive -0-, other $1,692, retirement/deferred compensation $61,550, non-taxable benefits, $19, 268 Total: $567,599
Swedish Medical Center: First Hill
Todd Strumwasser, base $435,848, bonus incentive $2500, other $71,000, retirement/deferred $76,928, nontaxable benefits $21,928 Total: $607,702
Swedish Medical Center: Cherry Hill
Rayburn Lewis, base $303,584, bonus incentive $24, other $51,875, retire/deferred $51,194, non taxable $17,713 Total: $424,390
Swedish Medical Center: Ballard
Jennifer Graves, base $241,620, other -0-, bonus incentive $37,500 retire/deferred $12,882, nontaxable $11,245 Total: $303,187
University of Washington Medical Center:
Stephen Zieniewicz, base $518,405, bonus -0-, other $1692, retire/deferred $61,793, non taxable $23,942, Total: $605,832
Virginia Mason Medical Center
Gary Kaplan, MD base $1,039,978, bonus incentive $449,871, other $17,788, retire/deferred $2,199,932, non-taxable $30,109 Total: $3,737,678
Other State Hospitals and Medical Centers
Valley Medical Center, Renton, Washington
Rich Roodman, base $706,575, bonus incentive $487,105, other $33,306, retire/deferred $32,201, nontaxable $26,471. Total: $1,285,860
Evergreen Medical Center, Bellevue
Robert Malte, base $592,423, bonus incentive -0-, other $51,581, retire/deferred $194,960, nontaxable $4,272, Total: $843,236
Providence Sacred Heart, Spokane
Elaine Couture, base $360,667, bonus incentive $592,708, other $17,901, retire/deferred $46,618, nontaxable $17,100 Total: $1,034,994
Providence St. Peter, Olympia
Medrice Caluccio base $417, bonus incentive $141,498, other $17,577, retire/deferred $419,464, non taxable $15,710 Total: $1,010,027
Central Washington Medical Center, Wenatchee
John Evans, Jr. base $141,598, bonus incentive -0-, other $1,491,778, retire/deferred $127,110 nontaxable $5,597 Total: $1,766,084
Smaller Hospitals: Top Administrators Total Salaries
Lake Chelan $177,242
Lourdes Medical Center, Pasco $823,668
Skagit County Hospital, Anacortes $378,386
Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital $565,441
Kittitas Valley Hospital, Ellensburg $277,674
Kadlac Medical Center, Richland $879,058
Walla Walla General Hospital $393,221
Shriners’ Hospital for Children $144,910 (Spokane)
Mid-Valley Hospital, Omak $159,972
Hospitals Not Reporting
For profit hospitals were not required to report, presumably for proprietary reasons. Other hospital and health systems apparently chose not to report. All these hospitals accept public money in the form of Medicaid and Medicare money.
There were some health systems that were not abundantly clear about who made what at which hospital, such as Multicare Health System out of Tacoma.
It was not clear what was Multicare, Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital and their other hospitals, so they were not included here. You can check them online at the DOH website.
Overlake Medical Center, Bellevue
Seattle Children’s Hospital
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
Peace Health Hospitals
Franciscan Health System Hospitals
It’s Time for Accountability
Each of these organizations has a Board of Directors, Trustees or Commissioners. You can go to each hospital website. If you do not easily find the list of their Boards of Directors/Trustees/Commissioners, you can type in “Board of Directors” in the search function on their website and the information will come up.
For example, here is the list of the Board of Trustees for Virginia Mason.https://www.virginiamason.org/BoardMembers
University of Washington Medical Center: http://www.uwmedicine.org/Global/About/Pages/UWMedicineBoard.aspx
Central Washington Medical Center: http://www.cwhs.com/Content.aspx?id=71&terms=board%20of%20directors
Valley Medical Center: https://www.valleymed.org/About-Us/Meet-the-Board/
Providence Health System: This is more difficult since it is a health system, and there is a system board, as well as a local board, but here is Spokane:http://washington.providence.org/donate/providence-health-care-foundation-eastern-wa/board-of-directors/
Mid Valley Medical Center, Omak http://www.mvhealth.org/leadership
Forks Community Hospital, Forks, http://www.forkshospital.org/board-minutes
What We Need to Do
As members of Boards of Trustees, Commissioners, you need to ask the hard questions:
- What value and outcomes are you getting in your community for the salaries you are paying your executives?
- Are they improving patient care?
- What are patient outcomes?
- How many readmissions do you have that may have been avoided?
- How are you doing in managing hospital infections?
- How much uncompensated care does the hospital provide as compared to other hospitals in the community?
This last question, of course, would not apply to communities such as Omak or Forks where they are the only hospital.
Certainly the choices in Omak and Forks are different than the ones in Tacoma and Seattle, but the question is, how do we hold our health care institutions accountable?
I believe, but I do not know for certain, that many Boards of Trustees are paid to serve on these Boards. If you are paid to serve, who is going to ask the hard questions? Who is going to ask about outcomes, readmission rates, infection control, necessary or unnecessary surgeries?
Certainly the problems in Forks, Omak and other disproportionate share rural hospitals are different from an urban Swedish or Evergreen. But we all need to be smarter about health care.
I offer two sites in Washington State that are dealing with documented health care outcomes as determined voluntarily by community practicing doctors: http://www.qualityhealth.org and its respective programs and the Bree collaborative: http://www.hta.hca.wa.gov/bree.html
As patients and consumers, we need to hold the Boards of Directors/Trustees accountable. Your doctor determines where you go, because of admitting privileges and insurance contracts. Ask him or her why they chose to work with the hospital they use. Talk to the hospital board of director members. Look at the outcomes from facility to facility.
I don’t know how many states require hospitals to report their compensation. But it is time we had community conversations about what we expect from these institutions in return for our community investments.
I am not the only person looking into this.
Here is an article by Kaiser Health News: Hospitals reward CEOs for growth that increase costs.
Kathleen O’Connor, MA: O’Connor, publisher of the O’ConnorReport, has nearly 30 years experience in health care reform publishing and consulting, reform strategies, and consumer advocacy locally and nationally. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists.