CEO of Connecticut hospital defends $1M salary: 'People don't understand what it actually takes to get into this role'

Bristol (Conn.) Hospital CEO Kurt Barwis and several hospital board members discussed the institution's robust C-suite compensation packages in light of a state tax revenue proposal, according to

Four things to know:

1. A 2017 IRS filing noted that Mr. Barwis earned more than $750,000 in salary and fringe benefits, while the health system made $174 million in revenue. Mr. Barwis told the publication that while he knows his salary as CEO of a nonprofit hospital is public knowledge, he takes issue with how the figure may be perceived by others.

"People look at [the salary] and think it's just a big number, and they don't understand what it takes to actually get into this role, how much education and training, how much responsibility there is. There's not an executive in any of these organizations who's not on a 24-7-365 [schedule]," he said.

2. Connecticut hospitals and the state government have had a tense relationship since the former governor's administration brought back a hospital tax in 2012. The original tax leveraged higher federal reimbursements benefiting hospitals and the state. However, the state began taking more in funds to balance its budgets, a move that negatively affected hospitals.

3. Bristol Hospital CFO Richard Braam told the publication the governor's budget would take $516 million more in tax revenue than hospitals expected. While the net effect on hospitals would only be about $43 million above expectations, those losses would hurt hospitals' ability to recruit specialized talent, among other issues, Mr. Braam said

4. Despite the issues, Gov. Ned Lamont said after a recent keynote speech that state officials are "in very good discussions with the hospitals, it's a reset of that relationship as well, and we'll see what happens going forward, but this year, [the hospital tax] is staying in the budget."

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