HCA CEO compensation totals $48M

Controversy continues over how much is too much for healthcare exec pay
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Executive compensation is once again making its way in the spotlight with reports that Hospital Corporation of America CEO Richard Bracken received $48 million in pay and stock gains last year.

HCA's filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission shows that while Bracken received only $1.4 million in pay, he received $6.50 per share in dividends paid on vested stock options. He also received $11.8 million in stock option appreciation rights, $3.3 million in incentive pay and $9.3 million exercises other options, according to USA Today.

Meanwhile, the organizer behind a successful initiative in Los Altos, Calif., to cap the pay of the El Camino Hospital's CEO at no more than double the California governor's annual pay says he can't afford to defend a hospital lawsuit challenging the measure's legality, the Los Altos Town Crier reports.

The pay-cap measure proposed by psychiatric technician Kary Lynch and  hospital employee Laura Huston got the thumbs up from voters last fall. The hospital's former CEO had received more than $1 million in annual compensation. But Lynch says he has been unable to retain pro bono representation against the suit, which named Huston and him as co-defendants, according to the newspaper.

Lynch told the newspaper the court would likely nullify the voter-passed measure since he couldn't defend himself against the hospital's challenge.

Controversy is bubbling elsewhere around the country over reports of nonprofit hospital executives making $800,000 to $4.76 million per year.

To learn more:
- here's the HCA Holdings SEC filing
- read the USA Today report
- read the Town Crier article

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