Compensation Issues

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HCA Healthcare's CEO made 312 times more than median employee in 2017

Nashville, Tenn.-based HCA Healthcare Chairman and CEO R. Milton Johnson's total compensation was nearly $17.3 million in 2017. That's 312 times as much as the company's median employee, according to a recent Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

The median compensation of HCA employees was $55,354 in 2017. To calculate the annual total compensation of the median employee, HCA excluded 11,764 employees, or about 4.7 percent of its workforce. HCA excluded 6,783 of its employees in the United Kingdom and 4,981 employees the company added as a result of acquisitions that occurred during 2017.


"The SEC rules for identifying the median compensated employee and calculating the pay ratio based on that employee's annual total compensation allow companies to adopt a variety of methodologies, to apply certain exclusions, and to make reasonable estimates and assumptions that reflect their compensation practices," HCA said in its SEC filing. "As such, the pay ratio reported by other companies may not be comparable to the pay ratio reported above, as other companies may have different employment and compensation practices and may utilize different methodologies, exclusions, estimates and assumptions in calculating their own pay ratios."

In assembling compensation packages for top executives last year, HCA said it examined data from several other companies, including Franklin, Tenn.-based Community Health Systems; Brentwood, Tenn.-based LifePoint Health; Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare; and King of Prussia, Pa.-based Universal Health Services.

Beginning this year, companies are publicly disclosing their CEO to median employee pay ratio to comply with financial reforms under the Dodd-Frank Act.

More articles on compensation:

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