LifePoint Hospitals Chairman and CEO Bill Carpenter this week exercised a batch of stock options that were granted to him in 2005 and would have expired next February. He then sold the resulting shares, booking a profit of a shade under $1 million. Carpenter still directly owns about $27 million worth of LifePoint shares (Ticker: LPNT), which have risen about 8 percent so far this year.
LifePoint Chief Accounting Officer Michael Coggin made a similar, smaller move Tuesday — albeit with options that would have expired in 2019 — and booked a gain of about $130,000.
Here's something from the executive compensation world we can't recall seeing before: A number of the top executives at LifePoint Hospitals, including Chairman and CEO Bill Carpenter, have been told by their board compensation committee that they'll find out later this year whether they got a raise.
In the hospital chain's recently filed proxy statement, the committee said that, "based on current market and industry conditions, [they had] deferred a decision regarding merit increases to the base salary of NEOs until later in 2012, with the exception of Messrs. Sherman and Bumpus, who were awarded modest adjustments to bring their respective base salary in line with the market median and/or the Peer Group."
A LifePoint spokeswoman said the company didn't have any further comment on the board's non-decision or on just which market and industry conditions had influenced their decision. But those conditions didn't seem to deter directors at HCA earlier this year.
LifePoint Hospitals Chairman and CEO Bill Carpenter recently sat down with Becker's Hospital Review for a chat about leadership, including having to pay attention to what he said after being promoted, developing a deep bench of executives and learning lessons from missteps. One big change has been to take solid control of messaging during acquisitions.
A while ago, we were involved in the acquisition of a community hospital where we were not able to be involved with broader communication during the process for that acquisition. When the transaction was announced, the community was upset that the hospital was being sold. They didn't understand the hospital's financial and operational pressure. To them their community asset was being sold, and they hadn't had the opportunity to get to know us. I've learned that we should be involved in communications with all key constituency groups early in the process. We need to be involved at a deeper level with physicians and the community just to make sure everyone is on the same page.
Becker's Hospital Review interviewed LifePoint CEO Bill Carpenter and Duke University Health System EVP Bill Fulkerton about the organizations' joint venture. At this point, Duke LifePoint has deals for a pair of hospitals and nine cardiac cath labs.
Carpenter tells Becker's that LifePoint is "looking for some more relationships across the country":
Q: This is one of the first partnerships between an academic health system and a hospital operator. Do you think we can expect more of these to come?
Dr. Fulkerson: I'd be surprised if similar models aren’t developed. Our idea and partnership may be new, but it makes tremendous sense. It leverages both of our talents in a very productive way. I suspect we'll see more partnerships like this around the country.
Mr. Carpenter: We believe the scale achieved in regional areas will be very important in the future. So LifePoint is looking for some more relationships across the country to help our company grow. I do think this is an innovative model, and LifePoint is excited to be part of it. We think this is one of the answers for how to improve healthcare in the future.