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December 1, 2019

Executive Compensation at the American Medical Association (AMA)

by Anne Paddock

The American Medical Association (AMA) is a non-profit 501 (c) (6) – a professional association and the largest association of physicians – whose mission is to “promote the art and science of medicine and the betterment of public health.” They do this by publishing JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) – a peer reviewed medical journal that publishes original research, reviews, and editorials of medicine, maintaining a code of medical ethics, collecting and maintaining physician data which is sometimes referred to as master files, and maintaining medical codes (referred to as CPT codes) used by the government, medical practices, hospitals, and insurance companies in return for royalty fees.

There are about 1 million physicians in the United States. Approximately 215,000 of these physicians (or about 20%) are members of the AMA. The annual dues are approximately $400 although medical students and residents don’t pay the annual dues (note: membership dues are a very small portion – $38 million or about 12% – of total revenue). The two largest sources of revenue for the AMA are royalties ($148 million or 47% of revenue) and subscriptions, reports, and creditentialing ($58 million or 18%).

In a nutshell, the AMA generated $317 million in 2017. Expenses totaled $290 million (of which $11 million was depreciation) and net fund assets (which is often referred to as the endowment) totaled $560 million at year-end.

The AMA is based in Chicago, Illinois and employed 1,064 individuals who were compensated $155 million for an average compensation of $146,000.  However, only 392 employees (about 37%) received more than $100,000 which means there were some very highly compensated employees, reported to be:

  • $2,245,446:  James L Madara, EVP and CEO
  • $1,185,814:   Bernard L Hengesbaugh, COO
  • $1,027,918:  Kenneth J Sharigian, Chief Strategy Officer
  • $  922,457:  Howard C Bauchner, SVP and Editor in Chief
  • $  900,977:  Laurie AS McGraw, SVP Health Solutions
  • $  820,997:  Richard A Deem, SVP Advocacy
  • $  817,627:  Modena H Wilson, SVP and Chief Health and Science
  • $  745,367:  Thomas J Easley, SVP Publisher
  • $  681,904:  Denise M Hagerty, CFO
  • $  291,072:  Andrew W Gurman, President/Past President
  • $  286,500:  David O Barbe, President Elect,/President
  • $  240,572:  Gerald E Harmon, Chair-Elect/Chair
  • $  211,500:  Patrice A Harris, Chair/Trustee
  • $  186,722:  Barbara L McAneny, Trustee/President Elect

Of the 14 most highly compensated employees listed above, 9 (64%) are male while 5 (36%) are female. Of the 10 most highly compensated employees, 7 (70%) are male while 3 (30%) are female.

The IRS Form 990 also reports the following information:

Four former trustees received compensation from a deferred compensation plan:

  • $22,395:  Robert M Wah
  • $21,251:  Ardis D Hoven
  • $13,806:  Monica C Wehby
  • $10,086:  Jeremy A Lazarus

The AMA paid for first class or charter travel (see Schedule J for more information).

The AMA paid for health or social club dues or initiation fees (see Schedule J for more information).

106 independent contractors received more than $100,000 in compensation with the 5 most highly compensated listed below:

  • $5,357,924:  Havas Life Metro of NY, NY for marketing services
  • $2,129,307:  Silverchair of Charlottesville, VA for IT services
  • $1,760,000:  Iquia, Inc of Philadelphia, PA for consulting services
  • $1,592,264:  Humach of Debuque, IA for consulting services
  • $1,398,718:  Premier Healthcare Solutions of Charlotte, NC for consulting services

To read the IRS Form 990 (2017) for the AMA, click here.

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