The American Hospital Association has changed how it reports executive compensation on its Form 990, the annual tax filing with the Internal Revenue Service.
The IRS requires tax-exempt organizations such as the AHA and the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations to report compensation of "officers, directors, trustees and key employees."
When it filed its Form 990 for 1999 on Aug. 28 with the IRS, the AHA pared down the number of executives it determined fit that description.
The AHA listed compensation for only seven executives, compared with 16 executives on its Form 990 for 1998. The AHA historically has reported the compensation of a dozen or more top executives.
The JCAHO reported the compensation of 19 executives on its most recent filing with the IRS. The JCAHO is a tax-exempt public charity under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and must also report the compensation of the five highest-paid employees other than officers, directors and trustees.
The AHA is a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(6) of the Internal Revenue Code and has fewer lobbying restrictions than a public charity; it's not required to report the compensation of its five highest-paid employees other than officers, directors and key employees.
Richard Wade, the AHA's senior vice president for strategic communications, said accounting firm Ernst & Young, which prepares its Form 990, told AHA officials that they were overcomplying with the Form 990 reporting requirements pertaining to executive compensation.
"We would not like to unnecessarily report what is sensitive and confidential information," said Gary Mecklenburg, chairman-elect of the AHA board of trustees and president and chief executive officer of Chicago's Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
Not included on the AHA's 1999 list were James Bentley, senior vice president of strategic policy planning, and Carmela Coyle, senior vice president of policy.
Kathryn Johnson, CEO of the AHA's for-profit subsidiary, Health Forum, isn't included on the 990 because she's not an AHA officer or director, Wade said.