Report: Former WPAHS executives made top dollar

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West Penn Allegheny Health System executives who are no longer working at the organization headed the list of highest compensated employees there, according to newly-released tax documents that cover calendar year 2012.

At the top is former President and CEO Christopher Olivia’s $1.89 million in total compensation. He left WPAHS in June 2011 when insurer Highmark announced it intended to buy the financially-troubled health system, a deal that was finalized in 2013. According to the tax filing, $1.25 million of his compensation package was severance.

Another former executive on the list of top-compensated employees was chief administrative officer Roy Santarella, who left in November 2011. His total compensation was $1.29 million, which includes $703,000 in severance.

Also two physicians on the list of best-paid employees, Mark Baratz ($1.18 million) and Christopher Schmidt ($1.22 million), subsequently left West Penn Allegheny and now practice at UPMC.

Among current employees, the highest compensated include physicians Nicolas Sotereanos ($1.29 million), Hae Dong Jho ($1.18 million), Michael Oh ($1.16 million), Patrick DeMeo ($1.06 million), and James Wilberger ($1.02 million).

The Internal Revenue Service requires tax-exempt entities to file and publicly release salaries and other financial information every year. For this filing, WPAHS submitted some financial data from the 2013 fiscal year ending June 30.

More recent financials have already been released, however, since West Penn Allegheny is required to provide regular updates as a condition of state approval for Highmark’s April 2013 acquisition.

In its most recent release, for the January to March period this year, WPAHS reported a $14 million operating loss, which followed losses of $1.7 million and $13.1 million for the two previous quarters.

Among the other disclosures in Thursday’s filing was the $8.89 million that West Penn Allegheny paid management consultant Alvarez & Marsal to guide the health system through the the Highmark acquisition.


Steve Twedt: stwedt@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1963.

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