SEIU Protests Executive Pay at Health Management's Shareholders Meeting

Members from the Service Employees International Union — United Healthcare Workers East protested outside of Naples, Fla.-based Health Management Associates' annual shareholders meeting Tuesday, arguing the for-profit hospital operator's executive compensation and profit structure overshadowed patient care, according to a Naples Daily News report.

According to Health Management's Schedule 14A with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, its compensation programs "are designed to provide incentives that drive our financial performance and result in greater stockholder returns," and "a significant percentage of our executive compensation program is weighted toward company performance."

While protestors outside decried Health Management's practices, one shareholder present at the meeting agreed with the protests over executive compensation. Health Management CEO Gary Newsome made more than $7.11 million in 2011, and shareholder John Schmahmann said Health Management was "spending too much money" and "overcompensated" its executive ranks, according to the report.

John Merriwether, Health Management's vice president of financial relations, denied the SEIU's claims that the company cared more about profits than quality healthcare. "To imply that we don't take quality as seriously as we should, that's not fair," Mr. Merriwether said in the report. "If you don't provide good quality care, you won't have good financial performance."

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Health Management Associates CEO Gary Newsome's Pay Rises 11.3% in 2011

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