By Dan Christensen, FloridaBulldog.org
With its top leadership under indictment and its top doctors openly warning that mismanagement is affecting healthcare, Broward Health is poised to award $7.2 million in bonuses to its highest executives and managers.
Among the intended beneficiaries are two Broward Health officials who were indicted by a Broward Grand Jury in December for violating Florida’s Government-in-the-Sunshine Law: President/CEO Beverly Capasso and General Counsel Lynn Barrett.
Three members of the district’s governing board, sitting as the Human Resources Committee, voted last week to forward the proposed “management incentive plan” to the current governing board of five commissioners for consideration at its Wednesday, March 28 meeting.
Commission Chairman Rocky Rodriguez, one of those under indictment, said he wants to learn more before he’ll decide whether to support the plan. Commissioners Christopher Ure, who is also under indictment, and Steven Wellins expressed strong support for the plan.
The meeting at Broward Health’s administrative headquarters last Wednesday was videotaped and posted on YouTube by local activist and blogger Dan Lewis.
Last month, Florida Bulldog reported that Broward Health’s Unified Medical Staff Committee sent a letter to the board, Capasso and Barrett stating that doctors are “critically concerned that the alienation of physicians is affecting the delivery of health care.” The letter went on to complain about a “lack of urgency” and “shoulder shrugging” by administrators “while Broward Health roils from one crisis and controversy to another.”
As described by Wellins, the incentive plan for this fiscal year, which ends June 30, will pay Broward Health’s top administrators bonuses equal to 17.5 percent of their salary if certain unspecified financial targets are met. The money would be paid starting in July.
“Let’s get it clear that this plan is targeted for the 300 or so leadership who are responsible for the day-to-day management and operation of the system and not the employees,” said Wellins. “This is a profit-share plan for them.”
But profit is a tricky proposition at Broward Health, a public hospital system and special taxing district whose legal name is the North Broward Hospital District. Records show the district levied $137.9 million in property taxes in 2017 and $136.7 million in 2016.
Florida Health Market Review, published by independent analyst Allan Baumgarten and released in December, reported that Broward Health’s profit, or net income, was $15.9 million in 2016. Without taxpayer dollars, such “profit” vanishes.
Next year, another $7.2 million in bonuses would be made available for administrators conditioned on their achievement of certain performance targets, Wellins said. An as-yet unwritten metrics “scorecard” would be used to measure achievement in such things as growth, quality and service.
A handful of Broward Health’s top executives – about 25 individuals – stand to gain the most under the plan.
CEO Capasso, for example, could earn a bonus of up to 30 percent of her annual salary, which is in excess of $650,000.
“Your leader is critical to an employee’s desire to remain at an organization. Getting the best leaders and retaining them is critical to our stability and our ability to grow,” said personnel chief Peter Nyamora, who was sitting next to Capasso.
Broward Health’s so-called Tier 2 employees, said to be about 280 directors, department heads and hospital managers, would be eligible to receive up to 15 percent based on their scorecards.
After laying out the proposal, Wellins sought to put the matter on the commissioner’s consent agenda, meaning there would be no further public discussion about it before a vote. But Commissioner Rodriguez nixed that idea, saying he cannot endorse the incentive plan without more information.
Instead, the matter will be discussed at the upcoming meeting.