The best-paid worker at Miami-Dade County’s hospital made nearly $1 million last year.
Carlos Migoya, CEO of the county-owned Jackson hospital system, earned $987,150 in 2014, almost a third more than the second-best paid employee at Jackson. That would be Dr. Ruben Quintero, who at the time was head of Jackson’s fetal-therapy center, which treats infants facing life-threatening conditions. Quintero earned $748,000 in 2014, but left Jackson in January.
In this Dade Data post, we present our first look at compensation for Miami-Dade’s Jackson Health System, the tax-funded hospital system that employed 11,700 individuals in 2014. Here we rank the 250 best-paid workers at Jackson. It follows our June report on the Miami-Dade 500, which revealed the 500 best-paid workers within the county’s 28,000-person payroll system.
Our June post analyzed data from the compensation database posted on Miami-Dade’s open-government website. Jackson manages its own payroll and wasn’t in the database we used for our June ranking.
The county payroll is much larger — $1.7 billion in 2014 compared to $690 million for Jackson. The average Jackson worker also earned less than the average worker on the county payroll: $59,026 versus $63,591. But Jackson’s top earners made significantly more than the top earners in county government.
Cynthia Johnson-Stacks, a veteran county attorney, snagged the top slot in our June list with total compensation of about $380,000. Migoya made more than double that. In fact, Johnson-Stacks didn’t earn enough in 2014 to crack the Top 20 on the Jackson list. Her $380,000 compensation would have landed her at No. 27 on the Jackson list.
There was a 33 percent spread between Johnson-Stacks and the No. 10 person on the Miami-Dade 500 list, fellow county attorney Eric Gressman. On the Jackson 250 list, Migoya earned 82 percent more than the $541,000 earned by Dr. Eddie Gomez, the bariatric surgeon who landed in the 10th spot.
A Jackson representative said Miami-Dade County’s payroll data doesn’t offer an appropriate benchmark for what Jackson pays its top executives, since Jackson competes with other health systems and hospitals.
“Jackson Health System is one of the nation’s largest and most complex health systems,” wrote Jennifer Piedra, Jackson’s communications director. “According to an independent study, 85% of our senior executives are paid salaries at or below the median level for peer health systems.”
Migoya’s compensation is a mix of salary and bonus, and a June compensation study commissioned by Jackson concluded the CEO’s pay was in line with other government hospitals across the country but “well below” compensation for CEOs at academic and non-profit hospitals.
Migoya made much less than the $3.2 million that Baptist Health CEO Brian Keeley earned in 2013, the most recent year available from the non-profit hospital system’s public tax returns. He also earned less than the $1.5 million that Mt. Sinai Medical CEO Steven Sonenreich earned that year, according to tax returns. Baptist, with six hospitals in the area, boasts almost 1,700 licensed beds, compared to 2,100 under the Jackson umbrella. Mt. Sinai has just 672 beds.
As the county hospital, Jackson takes on a larger share of indigent care than its private-sector competitors. But it also enjoys a steady stream of tax-funded subsidies that is expected to top $1 million a day in 2016. Miami-Dade County’s budget calls for Jackson to receive $399 million next year. About 60 percent of the subsidy comes from a half-percentage sales tax dedicated to Jackson, and the rest from general-fund dollars raised largely through property taxes.
Migoya was hired in 2011 during a time of crisis for Jackson, and he’s credited with turning around its finances. Jackson’s performance was so shaky that Miami-Dade leaders were considering a sale to a private operator rather than try for a comeback. The hospital system had only eight days worth of cash on hand in 2012, but ended 2014 with enough cash to last 41 days — an improvement of more than 400 percent.
One technical note on the Jackson 250: one-time payments tied to retirement can skew compensation figures. For the Miami-Dade 500, we took the original 500 top earners and sorted out employees who received large paychecks as they left the county payroll. Those employees were listed at the bottom of our ranking, starting with No. 501. We took the same approach with the Jackson 250, which is why the list goes to No. 253.
Miami Herald writer Daniel Chang contributed to this report.