Top HMO executives continued to bring home big bonuses last year, even though their industry posted huge losses, according to a report released last week by a consumer organization.
Senior executives in the nation's largest for-profit managed-care companies earned an average of $2 million in 1997, according to Washington-based Families USA, which tallied the executives' 1997 compensation and stock options.
For the second year in a row, the highest-paid executive on the group's list was Stephen Wiggins, former chief executive officer of beleaguered Oxford Health Plans. Wiggins, who resigned as Oxford CEO in August 1997, took home $30.7 million in 1997, along with $8.7 million in stock options. Oxford lost $291 million that year.
Industry executives in the top five, according to Families USA, were Wilson Taylor, chairman and CEO of Cigna ($12.5 million); William McGuire, CEO of United HealthCare Corp. ($8.6 million); James Stewart, Cigna's executive vice president ($7.3 million); and Robert Smoler, an Oxford executive vice president ($6.9 million). Smoler was the only one of the five whose compensation declined between 1996 and 1997.