Denver Health board to review bonus system

The board overseeing Denver Health plans to review the system under which executives received 2019 performance bonuses, according to CBS4.

A board statement provided to the TV station said the medical center planned to "revisit the compensation philosophy and approach for Denver Health, including but not limited to the leadership group."

The management incentive plan will be reviewed as well, the board said.

The announcement comes after a CBS4 investigation in April revealed management incentive bonuses ranging from $50,000 to $230,000 were paid to executives, and millions in performance bonuses were paid to about 140 top executives and administrators in two of the last four years.

Since news of the bonuses surfaced, workers have criticized the medical center's decision to make the payments, which were paid one week after front-line workers were asked to take unpaid leave or cut their hours amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Denver Health CEO Robin Wittenstein has apologized to the health system's 7,000 employees for the timing of incentive bonuses. 

The board in its statement May 6 said it understood "the anger, frustration and pain created by the Management Incentive Payments received by the leadership of Denver Health. The compensation system was created and is overseen by this board and not by the leadership of Denver Health or the employees who are covered by the plan."

The board said Denver Health leadership, including executives, are voluntarily taking a 20 percent pay cut "to help mitigate the economic impact of this pandemic on Denver Health."


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