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Published: Saturday, 6/2/2007

ProMedica chief got $4.1M in '05

BY JULIE M. McKINNON
BLADE STAFF WRITER

ProMedica Health System Chief Executive Alan Brass collected more than $4.1 million in pay and benefits for 2005, nearly tripling his compensation package from the year before, the hospital system confirmed this week.

But nearly $2.6 million of the $4.1 million was a one-time distribution related to previously unreported deferred compensation Mr. Brass earned in several prior years, ProMedica spokesmen said.

A Web site that questions financial practices of nonprofit hospitals caught some northwest Ohioans' attention after reporting last month the total annual compensation for Mr. Brass jumped from $1.4 million in 2004 to $4.1 million in 2005. ProMedica is a nonprofit system, and a spokesman declined to elaborate on how Mr. Brass' compensation is determined.

Mr. Brass, meanwhile, was not the only Toledo health-care executive whose increasing compensation was scrutinized last month by the WhereTheMoneyGoes.com blog.

Steven Mickus, president and chief executive of nonprofit Mercy Health Partners, received $1.6 million in total compensation in 2005, up 16 percent from 2004.

Mercy officials confirmed the numbers reported on the blog and pointed out Mr. Mickus assumed responsibility in mid 2004 for parent Catholic Healthcare Partners' Lorain region, which has three hospitals and the Ireland Cancer Center.

Mercy executives receive compensation that reflects responsibilities and is competitive with similar nonprofit systems, and they are eligible for annual incentive bonuses based on performance areas such as operating income and community benefits like charity care, said Mindy Ward, vice president of finance.

Furthermore, an outside consultant has annually evaluated Mercy executives' total compensation packages to ensure they are reasonable and fair, a practice that lately has been recommended by the government, she said.

"It's not required," Ms. Ward said. "It's something that we have done for many years."

Regarding Mr. Brass, blog editor Joe Novak said he researched forms ProMedica filed with the Internal Revenue Service to discern that the executive received $1.6 million in pay and benefits from the health system and another $2.5 million from ProMedica Indemnity Corp. in 2005.

That was up from $915,897 Mr. Brass received in 2004 for the health system and $1.4 million for the entity that provides liability insurance coverage for ProMedica and its employees, he noted.

ProMedica officials confirmed the overall compensation totals on the Web site were correct, but declined to comment on blog entries about the lucrative hike.

Neither ProMedica nor Mercy would disclose 2006 executive compensation figures this week. Those figures will become public in November.

Contact Julie M. McKinnon at:

jmckinnon@theblade.com

or 419-724-6087.



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