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January 23, 2019

9/24/2008 9:26:00 PM
Hospital Salary Disclosures

Dee Bonner


A newspaper story published September 5, 2008 reported on the promotion of Jack Horner, former Major Hospital chief information officer and vice-president, to the position of interim chief executive officer and president of the hospital. Horner was elevated to the position following the abrupt "resignation" of former CEO, Tony Lennen on August 11. Horner has signed a one-year contract to serve as interim CEO.

The newspaper article noted that during a telephone conversation, Major Hospital's board attorney declined to reveal Horner's new salary. The attorney said the information was public record and could be disclosed with a proper inquiry. "It's public and will be made public, I can't talk about his personal financial information", the attorney said.

Another newspaper story, published September 23, 2008 announced the hiring of Ralph Mercuri as Major Hospital's new chief financial officer. He replaces former CFO, Robin Nichols, who resigned last spring.

According to the article, Mercuri comes to Major Hospital with a wealth of financial experience, education, and on-the-job training. In addition, he also enjoys sports, especially golf. Sounds like a great fit. I'm certain all readers of Deebonner.com will join me in extending a warm, Shelby County welcome to Mr. Mercuri.

Mercuri's salary was not disclosed but interim CEO Jack Horner said "his salary is competitive and at the midpoint range established by the Indiana Association of Hospitals for facilities our size." Major Hospital's board attorney added, "He (Mercuri) has tons of hospital financial experience, and I'm certain that the board members will be very happy with him."

Incidentally, I have no knowledge of the duties required from a board attorney. I suppose a board attorney represents his or her board in legal proceedings (unless, of course, there is a conflict of interest). In addition, I suppose a board attorney provides written opinions on all legal questions referred by the president of the board. And apparently, a hospital board attorney serves as the official spokesperson for the board. However, I'm unable to confirm that these are actual duties. Perhaps someone can enlighten me.

Anyway, aren't you curious to learn just exactly what the hospital board considers to be a "competitive salary at a midpoint range"? You know, like in dollars? The newspaper reported the median salary for chief financial officers at hospitals of similar size to Major Hospital is about $95,000 per year, according to the Web site payscale.com.

I thought the newspaper's estimate was too low and since the hospital board attorney previously stated that the hospital's payroll information was public record, I decided to perform my own internet search.

Consequently, I located Major Hospital's federal tax returns at guidestar.org. Free registration allows you to access the hospital's Form 990's (Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax) through the 2006 tax year.

You won't learn the amount of Horner's or Mercuri's current salaries until 2008 tax returns are filed. However, you will see salaries paid by Major Hospital to key employees through 2006. You will see amounts paid to the top five physicians, as well as, the hospital's top five vendors. And guess what? No "proper inquiry" is required.

So, since Major Hospital's public record tax returns are readily available on the internet, let me share a few salary highlights with you. The following salaries are for the 2006 tax year and include total compensation for each individual listed (salary, benefits and expense accounts, if applicable).

Anthony Lennen, chief executive officer: $349,239

John Mark Horner, chief information officer: $192,373

Robin Nichols, chief financial officer: $166,808

Even though these figures are nearly two years old, they provide a more accurate salary range paid by Major Hospital for its top administrative positions. Much will be expected from Jack Horner and Ralph Mercuri in the coming months, hopefully they have been adequately compensated.



Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, September 25, 2008
Article comment by: DEE BONNER for MAYOR

Dee, You are a great reporter! Why did you waste all those years in sales!!! :) This is the kind of stuff that "the people" want to know. THANK YOU!!!!

Posted: Thursday, September 25, 2008
Article comment by: Scott

Those figures are very interesting. Has anyone ever had to pre-pay for a procedure done at the hospital, even if you have insurance? If you haven't had to before, you have to now.

Posted: Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Article comment by: Making Big Bucks at Major Hospital

Very interesting stuff, Dee. I found an internet reference to Major Hospital having a total of 89 hospital beds. So, this means in 2006 our hospital's CEO made $3,924 PER BED Major's Chief Information Officer (whatever that is) made $2,161 PER BED Major's Chief Financial Officer made $1,874 PER BED. Next time you get a bill from Major Hospital for services rendered, you might want to keep those figures in mind. Man, those are some EXPENSIVE beds!



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