HCA Healthcare's shareholders shot down two union-backed proposals at the investor-owned company's recent annual meeting, one that would have made quality a bigger factor in executive pay and another to oust a director.
The owners of 9.2% of Nashville-based HCA's common stock—representing just shy of 28.5 million shares out of 308.3 million total shares—voted in favor of a bid to study the feasibility of increasing the impact of quality performance on executive compensation. The measure would have needed 'yes' votes from owners of more than 50% of shares to pass.
The owners of 85% of shares voted against the quality measure, which was put forth by a trust fund that provides death benefits to members of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.
The owners of just 7% of HCA stock voted for a failed bid against re-electing Charles Holliday Jr. to HCA's board, well below the more than 50% threshold for the measure to pass. The owners of 87% of HCA's shares voted for Holliday's re-election.
Union-linked CtW Investment Group championed the proposal after it said Holliday, chairman of HCA's Audit and Compliance Committee, failed to properly oversee admission practices and left the company vulnerable to regulatory and litigation risks. CtW went public in March with an SEIU analysis that found HCA admits far more Medicare patients who visit its emergency departments than the national average.
Richard Clayton, CtW's research director, told Modern Healthcare in April that ousting Holliday was a "pretty steep hill to climb."
HCA held its annual meeting April 28. Shareholders re-elected all nine directors to one-year terms. They approved the company's 2021 executive officer compensation plan and rejected a shareholder proposal to allow shareholders to act by written consent, with owners of 21% of shares voting in favor of the measure.