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DaVita CEO tops 2018 list for healthcare providers, services with 108% pay raise

Nearly all the top 10 highest-paid CEOs at U.S. healthcare facility operators and medical suppliers received a bump in total adjusted compensation in 2018, according to data compiled by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

Kent Thiry, who recently stepped down as CEO of DaVita Inc., was the highest-paid executive with $32 million in total adjusted compensation. Thiry saw his salary more than double with a 108.9% increase and the sharpest year-over-year rise in stock and options to $26.6 million.

The Denver-based company, which provides dialysis services for patients suffering from chronic kidney failure or end-stage renal disease, had a CEO pay ratio of 526x, reflecting the amount the chief executive is paid compared to general workers at the company. The ratio is calculated by dividing the CEO compensation by the median employee compensation.

Thiry's total adjusted compensation also exceeded peer and general industry groups.

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Universal Health Services Inc. founder and CEO Alan Miller received total adjusted compensation of $23.5 million, a 9.1% year-over-year increase, with a pay ratio of 578x. King of Prussia, Pa.-based Universal Health Services is the operator of hospitals and outpatient facilities.

Pharmacy benefit manager CVS Health Corp.'s Larry Merlo took the third spot with a 79.1% increase in 2018 adjusted compensation to $21.9 million. Merlo had the highest CEO to median employee ratio of 618-to-1. The executive's stock and options doubled on a yearly basis to $13.5 million in 2018.

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The highest year-over-year jump of 134% was observed in the compensation of Tenet Healthcare Corp. CEO Ronald Rittenmeyer, who made $15 million in 2018.

Las Colinas, Texas-based pharmaceuticals and medical supplier McKesson Corp. cut CEO John Hammergren's salary by 9.7% on a yearly basis to $18.1 million, which made him the only executive among the top 10 highest-paid CEOs to take a pay cut.

HCA Healthcare Inc. CEO Milton Johnson received the third highest stock and options of $14.1 million in 2018, with a pay bump of 46.5%, bringing his total adjusted compensation to $20.1 million. Johnson retired as the healthcare services provider's CEO on Dec. 31, 2018.

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