The American Hospital Association stayed within budget as it won some key policy battles and changed senior leadership in 2015.
Longtime CEO Richard Umbdenstock, who retired at year's end, received compensation of $2.1 million in 2015, including a base salary of $930,860, according to the association's 2015 annual Form 990 financial filing with the IRS. That compared with $2.5 million in 2014.
His successor, Rick Pollack, earned $1.5 million in 2015 as the AHA's chief lobbyist in Washington, D.C.
Pollack has overseen an operational restructuring in 2016 that saw the hiring in January of Maryjane Wurth from the Illinois Hospital Association as chief strategy and relationship officer and CEO of the Health Forum, a business development and strategy arm of the AHA, said AHA Board Chairman Jim Skogsbergh. Skogsbergh is CEO of Downers Grove, Ill.-based Advocate Health Care.
Wurth took over many of the tasks previously handled by Neil Jesuele, who retired in June after earning $1.7 million in 2015, according to the IRS filing.
Skogsbergh said Pollack has undertaken a tough leadership transition without being distracted from representing members on the policy front. The AHA is a not-for-profit lobbying and educational organization largely funded by membership dues.
“We're very pleased with the performance of the AHA,” Skogsbergh said.
The AHA posted a net surplus of $11.3 million in 2015 on revenue of $127.8 million. That compares with a net surplus of $14.1 million in 2014 on revenue of $126.3 million.
The slightly lower surplus was largely the result of a bump in spending for salaries and benefits, increases that were budgeted for, AHA Chief Financial Officer John Evans said. Those rose to $58.2 million in 2015 from $54.3 million in 2014.
Lisa Allen, AHA senior vice president for human resources, said executive compensation was benchmarked by the AHA board and outside consultants against similar-sized associations and organizations. The 2015 compensation for AHA senior executives fell within the top 70%-75% of that benchmarked group, she said.
On the policy front, Skogsbergh pointed to several wins this year and last, such as persuading the CMS to modify Medicare's two-midnight policy in 2015 and roll back the related plan to cut payment for inpatient services by 0.2%, which the association challenged in court.
In addition, the AHA worked for the passage of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, which replaced Medicare's sustainable growth-rate formula for paying physicians. The association also took credit for helping influence several other policy changes from the CMS and Congress. They include extending the Medicare-dependent Hospital Program, low-volume adjustment and ambulance add-on payments; delaying Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) cuts until fiscal 2018; and shelving a 0.55% behavioral health coding offset.