Consultant's $240K Salary Attracts More Scrutiny for Cleveland's MetroHealth

From January through June, Cleveland-based MetroHealth System reportedly paid a consultant $240,000 to perform the duties of the former hospital controller, who was paid $105,000 annually, according to a Plain Dealer report.

The news report says MetroHealth pays Stephany Neel, who works for Kohler Healthcare Consulting, $275 an hour along with out-of-pocket expenses, which have totaled more than $29,000 in the past six months. The development coincides with state officials' expressed concern over MetroHealth executives' salaries and bonuses.

A hospital spokesperson said MetroHealth has been looking for a controller but has been unable to find one. The spokesperson also said Ms. Neel brings a "fresh perspective" to MetroHealth, along with new practices and benchmarking methods, according to the report.

The system has offered full-time employment to Ms. Neel, but she declined, according to the report. At MetroHealth's last monthly meeting, board members approved a resolution to re-hire Ms. Neel for a fourth time. That contract runs up to January 31, 2012, and is for "fees not to exceed $465,000 plus reasonable out of pocket expenses," according to the report.

In total, MetroHealth has approved a total of $990,000 in contracts for Ms. Neel since July 2010, according to the report.

Read the Plain Dealer report on MetroHealth System's consultant.

Related Articles on MetroHealth:

Ohio's MetroHealth Pays Former CFO Salary Despite June Resignation
Ohio's MetroHealth System to Begin $26M Capital Improvement Project
Cleveland Clinic, MetroHealth Partner to Create Regional Trauma Network

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