Community Health Systems CEO Wayne Smith received no raise in base salary for 2016 after the hospital chain missed most earnings and stock price targets in 2015, the company said in a regulatory filing Thursday. Smith's base salary will stay at $1.6 million again in 2016, while performance-based restricted stock grants will fall from a value of $9.3 million in 2015 to $2.3 million. Smith also felt the sting this year from the company's 2015 financial slump when his cash bonus was just $400,000, compared with $4.1 million in 2014, according to the company's proxy statement in preparation for next month's annual shareholder meeting. CHS, the nation's second-largest hospital chain by revenue, reached very few of its financial targets in 2015 as net earnings for the year fell drastically and its stock price plunged.
A Texas jury sided with Abbott Laboratories in a decadelong Medicare fraud case that could have cost the company as much as $1 billion. A whistle-blower alleged that the Illinois-based company improperly marketed bile duct stents for uses not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The whistle-blower, former Guidant Corp. sales representative Kevin Colquitt, alleged that he and other sales reps were trained to “robotically state” the correct indication for the devices before educating physicians about the benefits of their off-label uses. Guidant's stent business was eventually bought by Abbott. Abbott said Medicare wasn't defrauded because the program does cover off-label use of bile stents.
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed into law his plan to keep the state's first-in-the-nation hybrid Medicaid expansion and urged fellow Republicans to avoid a Washington-style shutdown fight over their efforts to defund the program. Hutchinson's plan calls for reworking the program, which uses federal funds to purchase private insurance for more than 250,000 low-income people. The state House and Senate approved the measures by wide margins, but they were shy of the votes that will be needed in an upcoming session for legislation funding the program.