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July 14, 2021

Executive Compensation at Avera Health

by Anne Paddock

Avera Health is a Christian-based integrative healthcare system provider with 35 hospitals, 215 primary care and specialty clinics, 40 senior living facilities, and numerous home care, hospice, sports, and wellness facilities serving more than 1 million people in South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, and Nebraska.

Based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Avera Health is made up of dozens of organizations that include tax-exempt non-profits and taxable partnerships, corporations, and trusts.  This post reports the executive compensation at Avera Heath, a tax-exempt non-profit 501 (c) (3) with 15 voting members on the governing body, 10 of whom are independent, 8 of whom are male and 7 whom are female.

Key information reported on the Form 990 (for the year ending June 30, 2019) include the following:

Total revenue reported was $274 million (compared to $225 million the prior year). Most revenue came from “ACS Revenue” ($197 million) and “eCare Revenue” ($34 million). It is unclear what ACS stands for.

Total expenses of $250 million (not including $21 million in depreciation) were reported with the largest expense being compensation.  1,570 employees received $151 million in compensation which equates to an average compensation of $96,000.  180 employees received more than $100,000 with the most highly compensated reported to be (note:  a “*” indicates compensation was paid by a related/affiliated organization:

  • $3,524,413:  Fredrick Slunecka, COO (until 8/24/2018)
  • $1,829,288:  John Porter, Past Pres and CEO (until 12/31/2018)
  • $1,156,986:  Bob Sutton, President and CEO
  • $1,047,008:  David Flicek, Pres and CEO, Avera McKennan
  • $  953,445:  James Breckenridge, CFO, Avera Health; Sec/Treas
  • $  875,708:  David Erikson, Chief Medical Officer
  • $  805,777:  Luis Rojas-Espaillat, Director*
  • $  718,239:  Richard Korman, SVP, General Counsel
  • $  702,979:  Todd Forkel, Pres and CEO, Avera St Luke’s
  • $  648,511:  James Veline, SVP, CIO
  • $  614,658:  Robin Bates, EVP, Ins Srvcs and Pop Health
  • $  429,875:  Jason Wickersham, Director*
  • $  420,510:  Deanna Larson, CEO – eCare
  • $  234,087:  Merritt Gregg Warren, Director*

It is important to note Fredrick Slunecka received $2,673,499 in severance pay and is reflected in total compensation.

The 10 most highly compensated employees are male.  12 of the 14 employees listed above (86%) are male while 2 (14%) are female.

137 independent contractors received more than $100,000 in compensation. $41 million was paid in fees to non-employees.  The 5 most highly compensated employees were reported to be:

  • $21.2 million:  CDW Government, of Vernon Hills, IL for computer hardware consulting
  • $14.8 million:  Avera McKennan, of Sioux Falls, SD for services, hardware, software
  • $ 6.4 million:  Medical Info Technology, of Westwood, MA for hardware/software consulting
  • $ 3.3 million:  Medspeed, of Elmhurst, IL for courier services
  • $ 2.8 million:  Advisory Board Company, of Washington, DC for consulting

To read the IRS Form 990 (for the year ending June 30, 2019), click here.

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