Why pay for public hospital CEOs is kept secret in Indiana

Public employees are typically required to disclose their taxpayer-funded salaries, but executives of county hospitals in Indiana can keep their pay secret because of a rare exemption added to state law in 2016, according to the Indianapolis Star

County hospital executive salaries were disclosed to the public until 2016, when, late in the legislative session, Indiana lawmakers added an amendment to a bill that provided an exemption for county hospitals. Vice President Mike Pence was governor of Indiana at that time and signed the bill into law, according to the report. 

The author of the bill, former state Sen. Pete Miller, told the Indianapolis Star he couldn't recall exactly why the amendment was added, except that it had to do with hospitals competing for workers. 

Christine Mackey-Ross, a healthcare executive search consultant, told the Indianapolis Star the competition explanation isn't a credible argument. 

"Many high-ranking executives sign agreements that prohibit them from leaving to immediately work for a competitor. And, anyway, private hospitals typically must disclose executive pay, either in IRS filings for nonprofits or for-profit hospital disclosures to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission," she told the Indianapolis Star. "How many CEOs get poached, how many C-suite employees get poached? No, you don't do that."

Before 2016, many public hospitals in Indiana kept executive compensation secret under a 2006 law regarding competitive information and county hospitals, according to the report. 

Read the full Indianapolis Star article here

More articles on compensation:
Advocate Aurora to give $66M in employee bonuses
5 steps to address pay inequity in your hospital
Trinity Health Michigan raises minimum wage for 2,100 workers

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