Highmark Health CEO David Holmberg’s take-home pay doubled to $5.55M in 2017 |

Highmark Health CEO David Holmberg’s take-home pay doubled to $5.55M in 2017

Natasha Lindstrom
Keith Hodan | Tribune-Review
The Highmark sign atop Fifth Avenue Place in Downtown Pittsburgh.

Highmark Health CEO David Holmberg made $5.55 million in 2017 — more than double what the nonprofit health care system chief executive took home the year before, tax forms filed Friday show.

He joined senior executives across Highmark Inc. and Allegheny Health Network in pocketing pay increases in 2017 for meeting bonus goals.

The year before most executives took pay cuts. 

Holmberg made about $3.8 million in 2015, his first full year taking over Highmark Health, the parent company that oversees its Highmark Inc. insurer as well as Allegheny Health Network’s doctors and hospitals, including Allegheny Valley Hospital in Harrison.

In 2016, Holmberg took a nearly $1 million pay cut, down to $2.62 million. He and other executives saw their compensation drop that year because of failing to meet requirements for earning performance-based bonuses, Highmark officials said at the time.

The Board of Directors approves compensation for Holmberg, and a personal and compensation committee sets the pay for all Highmark Health and Allegheny Health Network senior executives, Highmark spokeswoman Lynn Seay said. Bonus pay gets decided based on a variety of factors, including individual job impact, experience, skills and achievement of financial and strategic goals.

“Generally, compensation amounts increased from 2016 to 2017 due to the payment of incentive plans as the organization met or exceeded all of the objectives of those plans,” Seay said.

The next-highest paid executive last year was Thomas VanKirk, chief legal officer and board secretary, who took home $1.94 million, up from $967,000 in 2016, the organization’s latest Form 990 documents filed with the Internal Revenue Service show.

Cynthia Hundorfean, CEO of Allegheny Health Network, took home $1.75 million last year. John Paul, former CEO of the hospital network, made $1.36 million.

Among other employees whose pay topped $1 million:

• Karen Hanlon, chief operating officer, made $1.77 million, up from $1.1 million in 2016.

• Michael Bennett, chief strategy and transformation officer, made nearly $1.4 million.

• Scott Whalen, former president and CEO of St. Vincent hospital in Erie, made $1.43 million.

• Jeffrey Crudele, chief financial officer for AHN, made $1.21 million.

• Dan Onorato, corporate affairs officer and former Allegheny County chief executive, made $1.1 million, up from $803,000 in 2016.

Several doctors cleared $1 million in pay and benefits: Dr. Edward Westwick, $1.8 million; Dr. Gregory Altman, $1.79 million; Dr. Daniel Altman, $1.77 million; Dr. Donald Whiting, $1.71 million; Dr. Tony Farah, $1.42 million; Dr. Nicholas Sotereanos, $1.41 million; Dr. Robert Moraca, $1.27 million; Dr. Patrick Demeo, $1.2 million; and Dr. David Parda, $1.04 million.

Nearly 1,900 of Allegheny Health Network’s more than 24,000 full- and part-time employees, or nearly 8 percent, made more than $100,000 a year in 2017, the IRS forms show.

The trend toward higher salaries comes as the integrated health system reported record high amounts of positive operating income and advances on ambitious growth plans across Pennsylvania and into neighboring states.

The Downtown Pittsburgh-headquartered company has $6.9 billion in net assets.

After reaching its highest earnings ever last year, Holmberg said he’s eager to build on the momentum of 18 months of the system’s best financial performances yet.

In the third quarter , AHN broke ground on a 150-bed community hospital in Pine expected to open in 2021, and a neighborhood hospital in McCandless expected to open in late 2019. It also opened an outpatient center in O’Hara and a medical center in Downtown Pittsburgh during the quarter.

Highmark Health was formed in 2013 as the parent company to insurer Highmark Inc. and the hospital network, which it created the same year.

The insurance arm seeks to strengthen its position as the largest commercial insurer in its core markets of Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Delaware, Holmberg has said. Highmark has about 4.6 million insurance members, including about 1.4 million who live in Western Pennsylvania.

Natasha Lindstrom is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Natasha at 412-380-8514, [email protected] or via Twitter @NewsNatasha.

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