Vermont board won't weigh in on CEO compensation after exec pay freeze urged

After a Vermont mental health advocate urged healthcare regulators to establish a one-year freeze on hospital administrators' salaries if they make more than $500,000 a year, regulators said they won't get directly involved in executive pay, VTDigger reports.

Kevin Mullin, chairman of the Green Mountain Care Board, which is charged with reducing the rate of healthcare cost growth in Vermont, said it won't "micromanage" hospitals by getting directly involved in executive pay or personnel issues.

Mr. Mullin was responding to Ken Libertoff, former director of the Vermont Association for Mental Health, who asked the board to consider putting a one-year pay freeze on the salary of any hospital administrator making over $500,000.

Mr. Mullin also said the care board is applying cost-control pressure to hospitals in other ways, partially by limiting hospitals' revenue and rates during the annual budget review process and through the board's dissemination of hospital salary information.

"I think that we have started that process of shining the light on it," Mr. Mullin said. "These are nonprofit hospitals run by their local communities. I think that board members are hearing from their community members that maybe it's time to take a pause [on compensation]."

Hospital executive pay in Vermont has gotten more attention recently due to a labor dispute between Burlington-based University of Vermont Medical Center and its unionized nurses. The union took issue with the hospital paying two top executives over $3 million in 2016.

Mr. Libertoff also petitioned the board to take on a study of increases in UVM Medical Center and UVM Health Network administrative salaries "as compared to salary increases in other components of the hospital system."

After a Vermont mental health advocate urged healthcare regulators to establish a one-year freeze on hospital administrators' salaries if they make more than $500,000 a year, regulators said they won't get directly involved in executive pay, VTDigger reports.

Kevin Mullin, chairman of the Green Mountain Care Board, which is charged with reducing the rate of healthcare cost growth in Vermont, said it won't "micromanage" hospitals by getting directly involved in executive pay or personnel issues.

Mr. Mullin was responding to Ken Libertoff, former director of the Vermont Association for Mental Health, who asked the board to consider putting a one-year pay freeze on the salary of any hospital administrator making over $500,000.

Mr. Mullin also said the care board is applying cost-control pressure to hospitals in other ways, partially by limiting hospitals' revenue and rates during the annual budget review process and through the board's dissemination of hospital salary information.

"I think that we have started that process of shining the light on it," Mr. Mullin said. "These are nonprofit hospitals run by their local communities. I think that board members are hearing from their community members that maybe it's time to take a pause [on compensation]."

Hospital executive pay in Vermont has gotten more attention recently due to a labor dispute between Burlington-based University of Vermont Medical Center and its unionized nurses. The union took issue with the hospital paying two top executives over $3 million in 2016.

Mr. Libertoff also petitioned the board to take on a study of increases in UVM Medical Center and UVM Health Network administrative salaries "as compared to salary increases in other components of the hospital system."

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