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Rick Scott’s office pulling IRS filings, making public records requests, to get hospital executives’ salaries

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Gov. Rick Scott’s blue-ribbon commission on health care and hospital spending asked Florida hospitals in May to provide the state with information about the salaries and compensation packages of their top executives.

Two months later, only four facilities have voluntarily provided that information, Agency for Health Care Administration Deputy Secretary Molly McKinstry told members of the Commission on Healthcare and Hospital Funding on Wednesday in Jacksonville.

Commission Chairman Carlos Beruff acknowledged that there still is “a lot of missing information” but said the state won’t be deterred.

“We are going to get the data no matter what it takes to get it,” he said.

To that end, McKinstry said that the agency is making public records requests at government-owned facilities and noted that staff in the Governor’s Office has been combing through Internal Revenue Service tax filings to glean salary information.

McKinstry told the commission, though, that they won’t be able to find the information for  for-profit facilities in IRS tax filings.

The largest for-profit hospital chain in the state is Hospital Corporation of America, which owns 45 Florida facilities. None of those facilities have provided information to the commission, according to information the agency has compiled on hospital responses

Meanwhile, the information staff has been able to gather is included in a 15-page chart

Data collected to date shows that Isaac Mallah, president of South Florida Baptist, a 147-bed facility, was the highest paid executive in 2013 with a total compensation package of $3.3 million in 2013.

Stephen R. Mason, chief executive officer of the not-for-profit system BayCare, had a total compensation package of nearly $2.44 million in 2013. Sacred Heart Health System’s Susan Davis had a total compensation package of $2.4 million in 2013.

The governor created the commission in May via an executive order. He appointed nine members to the commission, most of whom had contributed to Scott’s campaign for governor or to his political committee, Let’s Get to Work.

Before the Jacksonville meeting adjourned, commission member Sam Seevers asked that another round of correspondence be sent to the hospitals requesting the salary and compensation information. Commission member Marili Cancio Johnson agreed and asked that the hospitals be told that if they don’t provide the information that funding be withheld from the facilities.

If there is no transparency Johnson said, there should be no tax assistance.

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