Above average healthcare CEO pay under public microscope

With slashed Medicaid and Medicare reimbursements at hospitals across the country, skeptics in Atlanta, Ga., are wondering if seemingly generous CEO compensation packages are justified.

Metro Atlanta health system and hospital CEO pay remained untouched and ranked higher than national averages, according to an Atlanta Journal Constitution article this week.

In hospitals, Atlanta CEOs averaged $547,466 in annual compensation in 2009, compared to the national average of $452,400 in 2010. In health systems, Atlanta CEOs averaged $1,221,658 in 2009, whereas the national average was $683,000 in 2010, notes the article.

For example, Edward Bonn of Southern Regional Health System earned $2,610,175, John Fox of Emory Healthcare made $1,671,999, and Tim Stack of Piedmont Healthcare made $1,340,974 all in fiscal 2009.

That same year, Grady Memorial CEO Michael Young, who resigned in June, made $833,646.

Although the public may criticize the unseemly CEO pay, especially during layoffs, some executives argue the compensation is justified for running a hospital or health system.

For example, Young is credited with saving a debt-ridden Grady Memorial and providing millions of dollars in uncompensated care, according to the article.

For more:
- read The Atlanta Journal Constitution article