Washington Hospital’s Farber NOT the highest paid public hospital chief in California

farberWashington Hospital CEO Nancy Farber has been ranked far and away the highest paid public employee in our chain’s annual surveys over the past two years

Earlier this month the LA Times and SF Chronicle reported that Farber at that point was the highest paid public employee in an ongoing state Controller’s Office audit of special government districts.

But the audit won’t be completed until June, and late this week, the largest hospital district in the state Palomar Pomerado Health reported its salaries. Palomar’s CEO Michael Covert made just over $1 million compared to Farber’s $873,598.

The Washington folks want you to know that:
1) While hospital districts are public, that’s why you vote for the hospital board members, salaries are paid through hospital operations, not tax dollars, like say with Highland Hospital.
2) Hospital profits have been soaring –mostly due to the hospital charging more to insurance companies — and the hospital does pump some of that money back into charity care.

However, just because Farber almost gets as much as the district hospital CEO in San Diego, that doesn’t mean the two districts are nearly equal.

Palomar has about 4,000 full time equivalent employees, compared to Washington’s estimated 1,500. Palomar has 656 beds to Washington’s 339, and Palomar has two hospitals and two skilled nursing centers compared to Washington’s one hospital. Also, Palomar serves a region that is more than 850 square miles. Washington serves the Tri-City are, Sunol and a bit of Hayward.

Matt Artz