DALLAS (AP) _ The chief executive of Tenet Healthcare Corp. received compensation valued at $9.4 million during 2007, a year in which the hospital operator sharply reduced its losses and showed signs of reversing a long decline in patient admissions, according to an analysis of a regulatory filing Thursday.
Trevor Fetter's compensation represented a 3.9 percent cut from the year before, according to Tenet's proxy statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
That decline, however, was much milder than that suffered by Tenet shareholders. The company's shares continued a five-year slump, falling 27 percent last year, although they had climbed 3.5 percent this year, through Wednesday.
The bulk of Fetter's 2007 compensation came in stock and options awards, which the company valued at nearly $6.3 million when they were issued.
Fetter was paid a salary of nearly $1.1 million, unchanged from the year before, and a performance-related incentive payment of nearly $1.9 million, nearly double the 2006 award. He also got $203,862 in other compensation, including $116,718 for personal use of company aircraft and a $24,200 auto allowance.
The Associated Press calculates total compensation to include salary, bonus, incentives, perks, above-market returns on deferred compensation and the estimated value of stock and options awards granted during the year. The totals don't include changes in the present value of pension benefits or the company's cost of stock and options granted before 2006, and the figures can differ from the company's total reported in the proxy's summary compensation table.
Fetter, 48, was named CEO in 2003 after the company had become entangled in lawsuits and government investigations into questionable medical practices and Medicare overbilling.
The company has lost $5.6 billion since 2002, but last year's loss of $89 million was down sharply from an $803 million loss in 2006. Revenue rose 4.7 percent last year, to $8.85 billion.
Tenet, which has sold many of its most troubled hospitals, reported that patient admissions rose in the fourth quarter, the first increase in nearly four years. Fetter called the 0.1 percent increase a major milestone that showed the company's investment in new equipment and outreach to doctors was working.
Tenet's turnaround, however, remains precarious. The Dallas-based company is still losing patients in the all-important private managed-care insurance programs and is taking on more patients without insurance, a trend that could worsen if the economy weakens.
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press.