An interesting example of Sager's suggestion is Sister Therese Antone, a Lifespan board member and president of Salve Regina University in Newport. Having taken a vow of poverty as a Sister of Mercy, Antone receives no salary for running the Catholic university, according to its federal tax return, and only $25,000 in benefits. (Antone did not return phone calls from the Phoenix.)
Overall, however, says Koller, executive salaries are a small portion of the $6 billion to $7 billion that Rhode Island spends on health-care each year. "Do they affect affordability of heath insurance in Rhode Island?" he asks. "Probably not."
James Purcell, president and CEO of Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island, the state's largest insurer, declined to be interviewed for this story. Discussing hospital CEO pay "is not the right fit for us," explains spokesman Chet Lasell. (According to the company's financial filing with the state Department of Business Regulation, Purcell received $965,646 in compensation in 2007.)
CORRECTION: In “Health-care’s big moneyman in New England” (February 13), it was incorrectly stated that in 2007, Lifespan CEO George Vecchione’s compensation package exceeded the second-highest paid New England health-care CEO’s total by almost $1 million. Lahey Clinic CEO David Barrett received $2.6 million in compensation and benefits, or $333,599 less than Vecchione, according to the clinic’s federal tax return. While Vecchione was the region’s highest-paid health-care CEO, the story overlooked Barrett’s information, citing James Mongan of Boston’s Partners HealthCare System as the second-highest-earning CEO. Mongan is third on the list. Scott Hartman, director of communications and marketing for Lahey, notes that Barrett’s compensation rose in 2007 because of a one-time supplemental retirement benefit. In 2006, when Vecchione also received $2.9 million, Barrett received $1.4 million — $1.5 million less than Vecchione.
Steven Stycos can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.