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By Tim Hunt

Following up on ValleyCare directors' compensation

Uploaded: Feb 20, 2014

Following up on ValleyCare and its board of directors—the federal 990 tax forms showed income for the volunteer directors starting in 2010.
The board has served without any cash compensation since the hospital was founded back in the 1960s. John Sensiba, the board chair, checked out why there was compensation listed for directors and learned that it is the hospital's share of the cost of health insurance. When the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) passed, it required reporting of health benefits. So the accounting firm listed the value of the hospital's share of the health insurance cost on the 990s.
By the policy that has been in effect since 1985, directors are eligible for health insurance just as employees are and the hospital pays the same percentage of the overall cost for each of them. So, depending upon employee status and benefits of spouses and their employers, some directors opted in and others did not.
The hospital share for some self-employed directors was $18,500 with the directors paying remaining balance.
Sensiba said he will bring the matter up to the board for discussion. To be fair, health insurance was often a benefit given to elected officials (particularly before costs soared) as well as directors of some other non-profit organizations. Given the amount of time many of them invest on the public's behalf, the "compensation" is trivial.
In response to the comment about taxpayers backing up ValleyCare, I would point back to Sensiba's comment that the medical foundation may lose money—particularly in the ramp-up period—but what's critical is the overall system's financial performance. Despite the losses of the foundation, the overall corporation is positive on the bottom line. He also said that the trajectory of foundation losses must be changed substantially.