John Curley Jr. became a million-dollar man when he retired last June as president and chief executive officer of the Catholic Health Association.
Curley cashed out with a compensation package worth almost $1.1 million, according to the CHA's annual filing with the Internal Revenue Service.
The publicly available Form 990 filed late last month covers the period from July 1, 1997, to June 30, 1998.
The St. Louis-based CHA represents 1,211 Roman Catholic healthcare providers, from large multistate systems to stand-alone hospitals to religious congregation sponsors. The association has 84 employees; 11 work in Washington.
According to the filing, Curley's total compensation included a $320,139 base salary; $48,977 worth of unused vacation; $658,621 in deferred compensation, plus interest and gain on that money; a $21,666 contribution to the employee benefit plan; and $29,435 in expenses and other allowances.
Curley accrued the largest chunk of money -- the deferred compensation -- by setting aside his annual salary increases from 1993 until his retirement at age 62.
"I think it's all money that was due," said Curley, who was top man at the CHA for almost 19 years.
Another trade association leader who has held the million-dollar-man title is Richard Davidson, president of the American Hospital Association. In 1996, Davidson's total compensation package was just shy of $1 million, at $946,268 (Aug. 25, 1997, p. 2). He had a $614,470 salary and a $270,230 contribution to his benefits plan, most of that part of his employment agreement.
The AHA employs about 455 people and in 1997 had annual revenues of $75.4 million, more than four times those of the CHA.
Curley, who is retired in Sacramento, Calif., stopped working for the CHA in January 1998 but continued to be paid until his retirement became effective.
Curley's tenure at the CHA was marked by his fervent opposition to for-profit healthcare. Under his tutelage the CHA banned for-profit hospitals from membership in the group (June 12, 1995, p. 2).
"One cannot serve both God and money," Curley said at the time.
During Curley's tenure, the CHA scored some significant lobbying victories. It defeated the Federation of America Health Systems in 1997, for example, in a fight over Medicare reimbursement for property taxes, and it also beat back an attempt by a small group of large urban hospitals to get as much as $1 billion in Medicare capital payments at the expense of other hospitals (Aug. 18, 1997, p. 27).
Curley was replaced at the helm of the CHA in February by the Rev. Michael Place, who was senior adviser on healthcare for the Archdiocese of Chicago.
Place started work in the middle of the CHA's fiscal year, so this year's tax filing doesn't reflect his total annual compensation: $404,400, including a base salary of $370,000 and $34,400 in benefits.
The tax filing reflects a good year for the CHA. Net income jumped 144% to almost $3 million. Total revenues increased 10.5% to $16.8 million. And revenues from membership dues increased almost 5% to $11.6 million.