GLENS FALLS — Top management at Glens Falls Hospital are paid, in total compensation, much more than at the other hospitals in the region, according to figures each hospital must report to the IRS.
Glens Falls Hospital doesn’t pay its CEO much more than other hospital CEOs. The difference comes in the number of managers Glens Falls has, which is higher than other hospitals.
In its last IRS filing, it had eight vice presidents, along with three C-level administrators.
Ellis Hospital, which is a larger and busier hospital, had only four vice presidents and three C-level managers. Ellis spent $2.8 million in total compensation on its leaders in 2016, while Glens Falls Hospital spent $3.8 million.
In 2017, Glens Falls Hospital cut two vice presidents, who were in charge of IT and human resources. That cut $559,000 from its expenses, but still put it well above all the other regional hospitals in both cost and number of top managers.
As of 2019, Glens Falls Hospital has 11 executives again.
Hospital Vice President Tracy Mills defended the spending difference by saying that other hospitals might not list all of their leaders on the IRS “Schedule J” form, which is required every year.
The IRS specifies that hospitals must list their top 20 “key employees,” defined as people with responsibilities or powers over the organization as a whole or a segment of it, and who made more than $150,000. The average pay for non-CEO leaders in the region was $314,000.
Mills also said a comparison with other hospitals was not fair, because every hospital is different.
“This 990 is also not going to give you insight into the scope of responsibilities, direct reports, years of experience, etc.,” she said in an email.
She also noted that some hospitals are affiliated with a larger group, which could reduce their costs.
She defended the hospital’s compensation, saying it was set to keep up with market rates for each position.
“Our compensation levels are set based on the advice of independent compensation experts who evaluate our compensation and those provided by other regional health care organizations to ensure that what we are offering is fair and competitive,” Mills said. “Local patients should have access to outstanding medical services in an organization led by highly qualified health care leaders.”
However, in terms of total compensation — salary, bonuses, and other payments — Glens Falls Hospital pays about 20 percent more than nearby hospitals.
The payments have come under criticism from those who are unhappy about service cuts at the hospital.
Salem Supervisor Sue Clary, who has been fighting to keep the hospital’s Salem Medical Center open, criticized the compensation packages as being too high at a time when patients are losing services.
The medical center is now open only two days a week, and blood work and rehab are no longer offered there. President and CEO Dianne Shugrue told Clary that the center had lost $250,000 and could not be “subsidized” anymore.
“So I started looking at percentages, comparing them to other hospitals,” Clary said. “The upper-tier payroll is much higher at Glens Falls Hospital.”
She also objected when she saw three ads for the hospital during one episode of “The Voice.” Those choices — in compensation and ad buys — are tone-deaf when people need services, she said.
“We need to get pulled out of this. We need Glens Falls Hospital,” she said. “Why is all this money being spent when they don’t have it?”
For The Post-Star’s analysis, compensation from 2015 or 2016 was used, because almost none of the hospitals have filed their 2017 paperwork with the IRS yet. That paperwork becomes public when it is filed; it is not available to the public until then. The analysis used the most recent 990 filed by each hospital.
In 2016, Glens Falls Hospital’s compensation for the top leaders was 21 percent higher than for the teams at Saratoga Hospital and St. Mary’s Memorial in Amsterdam. It was 25 percent higher than Ellis Hospital in Schenectady.
Saratoga and St. Mary’s are smaller hospitals, with 171 and 123 beds respectively. Glens Falls Hospital has 410 beds, and Ellis has 438 beds.
In patient volume, Glens Falls Hospital is similar to Saratoga Hospital. Its most recently reported statistics to the federal government, for 2016-2017, show a total of 58,400 patient days at Glens Falls Hospital over the course of 12 months. Saratoga Hospital had 50,100 patient days in the same time period.
Ellis was almost twice the size, with 94,100 patient days in that same 12-month period.
St. Mary’s is about half the size in patient volume, with 26,900 patient days in a year.
In compensation, the closest comparable package was at Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital in Plattsburgh. Glens Falls Hospital’s leadership team was paid 9 percent more than the team at Champlain Valley.
Champlain Valley reported 49,500 patient days over the same period in which Glens Falls had 58,400 patient days.