Highest Paid CEOs in Home Health Last Year

CEOs from publicly traded home health care companies brought home a combined total of about $39.5 million in 2017—though some execs certainly earned far more than their industry peers.

In order, CEOs from Kindred Healthcare (NYSE: KND), Encompass Health (NYSE: EHC) and Amedisys, Inc. (Nasdaq: AMED) took home the most last year in total compensation, a catch-all term that includes base salary, bonuses, non-equity incentive plans, stock awards and all other types of compensation. The 2017 CEO rankings are based on a Home Health Care News analysis of public financial disclosures filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

All three of the highest paid executives in the home health industry come from companies with diverse business lines throughout the care continuum. Two execs also come from companies—Kindred and Encompass Health—that either led or took part in noteworthy business shakeups in recent months.


In April, shareholders of Louisville-based Kindred approved the sale of the company’s home health and hospice business to insurance giant Humana (NYSE: HUM) and two private equity groups, TPG Capital and Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe. Humana acquired 40% of Kindred at Home’s business under the deal’s terms, while the two equity groups acquired the remaining 60%. Expected to close in the summer of 2018, the deal also separates Kindred’s hospital and rehabilitation business from Kindred at Home.

In addition to its home health business, Kindred oversees a network of inpatient rehabilitation facilities (IRFs) and long-term acute care hospitals.

Benjamin Breier, president and CEO of Kindred, earned more than $11.6 million in total compensation in 2017—a raise of about $4.6 million compared to the previous year. Breier has served as CEO since 2015.


HealthSouth, a top owner and operator of inpatient rehab hospitals, joined the home health industry in 2014 when it agreed to buy Encompass for $750 million. In January, the Birmingham, Alabama-based company announced it would fully rebrand under the Encompass Health name, changing its ticker symbol from “HLS” to “EHC.” Before acquiring Encompass, HealthSouth was already a major IRF player.

Encompass Health President and CEO Mark Tarr had a total compensation of about $4.9 million last year, more than doubling his 2016 earnings. Tarr has held his current position since 2016. April Anthony is the CEO of Encompass Health’s home health division; her 2017 compensation was not disclosed in the company’s filings.

Amedisys, meanwhile, has remained relatively steady amid the sweeping changes happening throughout the home health industry. During the company’s end-of-year earnings call in February, executives highlighted how the company plans to take advantage of new opportunities and greater regulatory visibility. When it does have an eye toward M&A, Amedisys will likely continue to purse hospice acquisitions, followed by personal care and home health, according to leadership.

Paul Kusserow, president and CEO of Amedisys since 2014, earned slightly more than $4 million in total compensation in 2017, a bump of about $280,800 compared to the previous year.

Here’s a full breakdown of the top earners:

The majority of executives on HHCN’s rankings of highest paid CEOs saw increases in total compensation from 2016 to 2017. Kindred’s Breier saw the largest raw increase, while Encompass Health’s Tarr saw the biggest jump percentage wise.

The top execs of Brookdale Senior Living (NYSE: BKD), LHC Group (Nasdaq: LHCG) and Addus HomeCare Corporation (Nasdaq: ADUS) weren’t so lucky.

Andy Smith resigned as Brookdale’s president and CEO at the end of February, replaced in those two roles by Lucinda Baier. In 2017, his final full year as CEO, Smith saw his total compensation drop by more than $5.2 million to $1.3 million. Former Brookdale CFO Baier, too, saw a slight drop in her total compensation, which fell by about $85,000 to about $2.4 million.

In addition to being one of the 10 largest home health providers in the nation, Brentwood, Tennessee-based Brookdale is the largest operator of private-pay senior housing communities. It acquired rival Emeritus Corp. in a 2014 mega-deal, but since then has struggled to integrate the purchase and has faced challenges related to its operations and new competitors entering the senior housing space. Smith’s departure came as Brookdale ended a review of strategic alternatives and the company transitioned from actively courting potential buyers to re-focusing on improving its performance and share price.

Lafayette, Louisiana-based LHC Group CEO Keith Myers also saw a small decrease—about $177,000—in his total compensation from 2016 to 2017, despite leading the company through the “merger of equals” with Almost Family, Inc. The all-stock merger was valued at $2.4 billion, according to LHC Group. Myers, who co-founded LHC Group, kept his position as CEO after the merger.

Dirk Allison, president and CEO of Frisco, Texas-based Addus, had a roughly 32% cut in his total compensation, which dropped to about $1.7 million last year.

CEOs of home health companies make an average of $456,533 per year, according to the most recent data from the Hospital & Healthcare Compensation Service.

Although it does not offer home health, Chemed (NYSE: CHE) is a publicly traded company that includes VITAS Healthcare, one of the largest hospice operations in the nation. The company’s other division is Roto-Rooter, which offers plumbing, drain cleaning, water restoration and other related services to both residential and commercial customers. Chemed President and CEO Kevin McNamara brought home about $7.9 million in total compensation last year.

Written by Robert Holly

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