Mar 20, 2019

The latest on health care executive pay

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

The CEOs of 23 prominent health care companies earned more than $632 million in 2018, based on the actual value of cashed-out stock, according Axios' most recent tally of federal securities documents.

The bottom line: Executives of publicly traded companies get paid mostly in stock, so their incentives are to raise the stock price as much as possible. In health care, that often means contradicting the industry's line of "patient-centered care."

Some early takeaways:

  • The highest-paid pharmaceutical executive so far for 2018 was Pfizer’s outgoing CEO, Ian Read, who made $47 million.
  • The two CEOs with the highest overall pay were still HCA Healthcare's R. Milton Johnson ($109 million) and Intuitive Surgical's Gary Guthart ($99 million).
  • Flying under the radar as one of the highest-paid health care executives was Ari Bousbib, who heads the pharmaceutical data and consulting company IQVIA. He made $77 million in 2018 and has made $137 million since 2016, when Quintiles and IMS Health merged to form IQVIA.
  • When Express Scripts CEO Tim Wentworth joined Cigna last year, he took home $9 million in retention pay and agreed to "perpetual" agreements to never divulge anything about the company.

Go deeper: Follow our health care executive pay tracker

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Situational awareness

Photo: Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Catch up on today's biggest news:

  1. Mike Bloomberg offers to release women from 3 NDAs
  2. Wells Fargo to pay $3 billion to settle consumer abuse charges
  3. Bloomberg campaign says Tennessee vandalism "echoes language" from Bernie supporters
  4. Scoop: New White House personnel chief tells Cabinet liaisons to target Never Trumpers
  5. Nearly half of Republicans support pardoning Roger Stone

Wells Fargo agrees to pay $3 billion to settle consumer abuse charges

Clients use an ATM at a Wells Fargo Bank in Los Angeles, Calif. Photo: Ronen Tivony/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Wells Fargo agreed to a pay a combined $3 billion to the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday for opening millions of fake customer accounts between 2002 and 2016, the SEC said in a press release.

The big picture: The fine "is among the largest corporate penalties reached during the Trump administration," the Washington Post reports.

Bloomberg offers to release women from 3 nondisclosure agreements

Mike Bloomberg. Photo: Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Mike Bloomberg said Friday his company will release women identified to have signed three nondisclosure agreements so they can publicly discuss their allegations against him if they wish.

Why it matters, via Axios' Margaret Talev: Bloomberg’s shift in policy toward NDAs comes as he tries to stanch his loss of female support after the Las Vegas debate. It is an effort to separate the total number of harassment and culture complaints at the large company from those directed at him personally. That could reframe the criticism against him, but also protect the company from legal fallout if all past NDAs were placed in jeopardy.