And in today’s scuttlebutt–Sutter pay grades

A little birdie contacted me leading me to wonder, what did the former CEO of Sutter Health Van Johnson do to get paid $5.6 million for working for a “part year” in 2006? (See page 100 of this PDF). It may go somewhat to explaining why a) Sutter is the most expensive hospital system in Northern California, and b) why the unions hate it so much! On the other hand we’re entitled to wonder when the web site says things like this :

Unlike investor-owned health care systems, Sutter Health is a not-for-profit organization. As such, any money left over after employees and bills have been paid is reinvested in health care.

On the other hand in 2005 Johnson didn’t make the top 5 list dominated by CEOs of individual Sutter hospitals all earning what typical hospital CEOs make—500K and up!) (page 59 here). Neither did current CEO Patrick Fry make the top 5 in 2007 (page 99 here). Perhaps the key is that they only pay the big boss after he quits?

Anyway, anyone who can elucidate please comment away.

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  1. In the Guidestar version, which is a much crisper eFile version, it is just over half way through the document in the General Explanation section immediately following the discussion of the overall compensation philosophy. I tried to copy it and paste it here but couldn’t figure out how. It’s rather drawn out and boring in any case.

  2. Maybe I am missing the point…I was unable to see page numbers on the link, but I did look up the 990 on Guidestar. There is an extensive note outlining the details of this person’s deferred compensation, long service, and the policy (required, I believe) of recognizing the dollars post-retirement. We can all (and do) question the amounts, but it looks like the organization is meeting the requirements to me.

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