HCA shareholders reject ouster of audit director, new exec pay measure

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Shareholders of Nashville, Tenn.-based HCA Healthcare voted against several measures at its annual meeting, including one that would increase the role quality metrics play in executive pay calculations and another to oust a director. 

The proposal to explore increasing the role quality metrics plays in executive compensation came from Kurt Freeman on behalf of the Graphic Benevolent Trust Fund, which owns about 410 shares of HCA stock.

The trust argued in the proposal that while high-quality care is the hospital operator's "primary objective," the formula used for its executive compensation "is strongly weighted toward short-term financial performance." 

The shareholders voted against the measure at the shareholder meeting April 28. About 9.2 percent of the 308.3 million total shares voted in favor of the measure. 

A second measure shot down by HCA investors was the removal of HCA Healthcare's director and audit committee chair. CtW Investment Group sent a letter to HCA shareholders April 1 urging them to oppose the reelection of director and audit and compliance committee chair Charles Holliday Jr. The letter came after the investment group accused HCA of excessive emergency department admissions and demanded the company's board address the issue. 

However, only about 7 percent of shareholders present at the meeting voted against reelecting Mr. Holliday. 

A third measure rejected by shareholders was a measure that would have allowed them to act by written consent.

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