The recent experience at Louisville, Ky.-based Vencor shows again how different the world looks from the executive suite.
When the long-term-care chain announced in January it would split into an operating company, Vencor, and a real estate investment trust, VenTrust, the company's top executive inherited two jobs. W. Bruce Lunsford, Vencor's chairman, president and chief executive officer, also will be president and CEO at VenTrust (Feb. 9, p. 22).
For his extra efforts, Lunsford will be handsomely compensated, earning a base salary of $500,000 at VenTrust, states a proxy filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. He also will be paid a bonus of 50% of his VenTrust base salary should he meet certain undisclosed financial targets for the REIT.
That's on top of the $700,000 base salary Lunsford earned last year as Vencor's top exec. He also earned a $233,345 bonus and was awarded $523,298 in stock based on performance goals attained by the company.
The company's release, issued in February when the split was announced, said: "Vencor's current employees will become employees of the operating company. There is expected to be no change in the employees' compensation or benefits as a result of this action." Guess that doesn't apply to the man in charge.
Finding its way back.
As if Coastal Physician Group didn't have enough problems, its Doctors Health Plan has been cited for 51 violations by the North Carolina Department of Insurance.
The plan is scrambling to correct such conspicuous wrongs as failing to implement a quality management program, requiring enrollees to obtain prior authorization for out-of-network emergency care and lacking a facility credentialing program.
Regulators also worried about turnover: The plan has had four presidents, four treasurers and four corporate secretaries in its three-year history.
Durham, N.C.-based Coastal is trying to regain profitability after straying from its core business of hospital-based physician management. Its stock, which peaked at $40.25 three years ago, traded at less than a dollar last week.
Yet operational problems apparently didn't hurt the plan's growth. It counts 42,000 enrollees, up from 28,000 last September.
"We're growing so fast we didn't pay attention to a lot of the details," Bertram Walls, M.D., told Durham's Herald-Sun newspaper. Walls, chairman of Doctors' board, was named president after the latest resignation, that of Deborah Redd.
An RN's CEO.
Baptist Hospital of Miami isn't having any truck with this business of fudging the status of unlicensed patient caregivers.
In a letter to Ann Landers that ran in the Feb. 17 Chicago Tribune, Baptist Chief Executive Officer Fred Messing responded to a nurse who complained that hospitals are refusing to identify registered nurses or licensed practical nurses so lower-paid workers can be substituted for professional nurses.
"I would like to assure one and all that this is not a universal hospital practice," Messing writes. "To the contrary, we not only prize our professional nursing staff but fully understand that their services are the most intensive, visible and recognizable to our patients. We strongly encourage every nurse in our four-hospital health system to display his or her identification tag proudly and visibly.
"If there are top-quality RNs and LPNs out there who feel>