Atrium Health discloses the pay raise it gave its CEO. It’s the biggest he’s received

Atrium Health CEO talks about dispute with anesthesiologists

Gene Woods, Atrium Health CEO,tells his side of the ongoing dispute.
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Gene Woods, Atrium Health CEO,tells his side of the ongoing dispute.

Atrium Health gave Gene Woods about $6.1 million in total compensation last year, an increase of more than 12 percent from the year before, according to disclosures the Charlotte-based hospital system released on Thursday.

Woods’ package includes a salary of about $1.7 million and a cash bonus of $1.6 million. The remainder includes contributions Atrium makes toward health benefits, as well as cash awards for performance.

It’s the largest payout for Woods since he began work at the public nonprofit in April 2016.

In a statement, Atrium said its board of commissioners used independent, third-party experts to provide compensation data on organizations of similar size, scope and complexity.

It also noted that combined compensation for Atrium’s top 10 executives is less than 1 percent of total compensation for all its roughly 63,000 employees. The figure includes more than 36,000 in the Charlotte metro area.

For 2017, Woods made about $5.4 million in total compensation.

In 2016, he received $1.7 million in total compensation, including a salary of $828,110 and a bonus of $500,000. That year, he replaced predecessor Michael Tarwater.

Last year was one of much change, some of it turbulent, at the state’s largest hospital network. That included:

In February, Atrium announced a name change from Carolinas HealthCare System, a move it said reflected its growth from a single community hospital in Charlotte to a regional health care giant.

The next day, Atrium announced plans to combine with Georgia-based health care system Navicent. That deal closed in December.

In March, Atrium said it had ended discussions with UNC Health Care to form a joint operating company, citing an inability to reach an agreement to form a mega-system.

In April, a group of about 90 doctors announced they wanted to leave Atrium, accusing it of monopolistic and anti-competitive behavior. Atrium granted the doctors’ requests to break away.

In July, Atrium switched anesthesiology providers at most of its Charlotte-area hospitals. The termination of its contract with a longtime vendor sparked lawsuits that are pending in North Carolina Business Court;

In October, Atrium said it was seeking to build a $116 million hospital and $13.5 million medical office in western Union County, a project it estimated to be completed in early 2022.

And in November, Atrium said that personal information for more than 2 million of it patients may have been compromised in a data breach of billing information, including addresses, dates of birth and Social Security numbers.

Woods, GeneWoodsCEO-Headshot-Aug2016
Gene Woods is president and CEO of Carolinas HealthCare System Jon Strayhorn Jon Strayhorn MAC330

In disclosing Woods’ latest compensation figures, Atrium noted that it also invested more than $100 million in its frontline employees, nurses and doctors last year.

Those investments included announcing in June an increase in Atrium’s minimum wage to $12.50 per hour, up from $11.50. That change impacted more than 7,500 employees in the Charlotte metro area, Atrium said at the time.

This month, Atrium said it plans to increase pay for more than 15,000 employees, primarily nurses and those in nursing support roles across the Charlotte-based hospital system. Those increases will range from 2 to 5 percent for some workers and 5 percent on average for others, Atrium said.

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Deon Roberts has covered Charlotte’s financial services industry for The Charlotte Observer since 2013. His beat includes Bank of America and Wells Fargo. He attended Loyola University in New Orleans and is a native of Lafitte, La.