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Follow the numbers to report on hospital executives' compensation packages

IRS Form 990 from Emory Healthcare showing compensation.The tax-exempt status of not-for-profit hospitals has received heightened scrutiny over the past few years as policy makers across the country and at every level of government try to ensure their communities receive tangible benefits in exchange for the millions of dollars in lost tax revenue.

One factor encouraging policy makers and the public to treat tax exempt hospitals less like charities and more like for-profit businesses is the compensation packages of hospital executives.

M.B. Pell, of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, recently wrote about compensation packages, including perks such as country club memberships, first-class air travel and free housing, that hospital executives in the Atlanta area receive. In this article, he explains how he got the information – which is public information – and how reporters everywhere can look into executive compensation.

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