First raises in three years for CHS brass

Board also hands out $28M+ worth of incentives for HMA cost savings

The top executives at Community Health Systems have received their first salary raises since 2011 and been heavily incentivized to generate cost savings from the company's recent purchase of rival Health Management Associates.

Wayne Smith, chairman and CEO of Franklin-based CHS, will receive a 2014 salary of $1.5 million. The company's board has for the first time since 2011 bumped that number, although it did not detail why in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. CFO Larry Cash (pictured at right) has received a $50,000 salary bump to $800,000. Cash, who has been with CHS since 1997, had been given a salary raise in 2010 and 2011 to $750,000 after being paid $700,000 in 2009.

Other top CHS officers received similar bumps in their pay with newly named President and COO David Miller the exception as his salary was hiked to $700,000 from $612,000.

Those bumps pale, however, to the potential payday the executives are in line to get if they hit their mark with the integration of HMA, for which CHS paid more than $7 billion. The CHS board last week also handed out a total of 710,000 performance-based restricted shares that are worth more than $28 million at today's prices. The shares will lose all of their restrictions if the CHS team generates $80 million of savings by next February and more than $200 million by early 2016.

There's a good chance CHS will hit those numbers. The company generated $275 million in synergies from its 2007 purchase of Triad Hospitals — which was smaller than HMA was at the end of last year — and it looks like the board has lowered the bar a bit for its executive team: In presentations to the investment community, Smith and Cash have said they are targeting total cost savings of $250 million over the next two years.

Of the restricted shares, Smith has received 300,000, which are worth more than $12 million today. Cash was granted 150,000 shares. Check the details here on the grants and other compensation updates.

At about noon Thursday, shares of CHS (Ticker: CYH) were down about 0.5 percent to about $40.90. They are flat over the past three months.