El Camino Hospital CEO Reveals Salary, Bonus Compensation
El Camino Hospital CEO Lee Domanico on Wednesday in a "surprise public announcement" said he was paid a $441,000 base salary last year and $174,000 in bonuses, after for several months declining to disclose the information, the San Jose Mercury News reports.
The Mercury News reports that Domanico did not release a copy of his contract, which could contain additional bonuses and benefits such as a 10-year loan he received from the hospital to purchase a home (Koury, San Jose Mercury News, 3/3).
The board of El Camino Hospital in Mountain View declined to disclose the salaries of its CEO and other top executives to the Mercury News, saying that revealing such information would be an invasion of the employees' privacy. El Camino attorneys and other officials claimed that while the hospital is publicly owned, it is not a public agency and therefore exempt from disclosing compensation information to the public.
El Camino officials said that the hospital is a not-for-profit organization, rather than a public agency, and as such is not legally required to release compensation information for its employees.
El Camino CEO Lee Domanico's salary first became an issue last year after 19 anesthesiologists were escorted from the hospital by security guards for refusing to join certain insurance networks. Several doctors demanded that Domanico's salary be revealed and questions were raised about what they saw as increasing patient costs.
Questions were also raised about the legality of the hospital's decision to withhold the information (California Healthline, 2/24).
Domanico said it was "not clear" whether El Camino was a public hospital, but he revealed his salary "to ensure that I am not violating [the public's] trust." He said he also wanted to ensure the public remained supportive of the recently approved $148-million bond measure to fund seismic retrofitting and hospital expansion.
El Camino board President Mark O'Connor said, "It takes a lot of heat off board members. We respect his privacy, but we understand that it might look a little funky, and we left it up to him and said we would back him. He knew it put us in a tough situation. By disclosing that I think he did the right thing" (San Jose Mercury News, 3/3).