Betsey Bayless: $peaking of outrageous pay raises

Mega-salaries, benefits awarded in the worst of times

Recently we’ve been exposing the grossly excessive pay hikes and benefits packages of some of our illustrious Valley notables. Phoenix City Manager David Cavazos grabbed our attention in Dec. 2012 with his massive 33% raise, which amounts to an extra $78,000 a year! He will now be pulling down a yearly base salary of $315,000 plus a $600 monthly car allowance, $35,000 a year in deferred compensation, and a $4,000 “longevity” bonus.

Yesterday we provided the lowdown on the swell deals benefiting ASU President Michael Crow and his wife Sybil Francis. His annual salary of $475,000 plus benefits now comes in at $742,500. That includes a $50,000 housing allowance to assist in maintaining their exclusive $1,250,000 Paradise Valley digs, and $10,000 yearly car allowance. The ASU Foundation on which his wife serves as a “senior advisor” kicks in an additional $100,000 annually in compensation. His yearly perks include $85,500 pension and $22,000 in retirement. Annual step-up bonuses are part of the deal: 2013: Up to $40,000, 2014: Up to $40,000 and the major step-up in 2015: Up to $180,000 for exceeding “benchmarks.” Wifey Sybil Francis rakes in a six-figure income from the university, but the exact amount is elusive.

Taxpayer’s heads should be swimming with the news already provided.  But then comes the deal of deals that Betsey Bayless, the CEO and president of Maricopa Integrated Health System (MIHS) has brokered. She just received a hefty $125,000 raise. Her base salary soared 33% overnight, from $375,003 to $500,000 — excluding benefits.

Bayless will also be allowed to enter into a 409A retirement scheme into which she contributes not a thin dime, but MIHS makes all contributions.  If that’s not enough, she will garner up to a additional $125,000 by meeting various “performance goals.” Not bad for an unqualified, but well-connected political hack with one foot already out the door.

The five-member Board of Directors of the state’s largest public health-care system approved the raise this past week on a 3-2 vote. Check out the front page of the Fiscal Year 2013 Annual Budget Book. Longtime politico and perennial appointee Bayless is pictured center right, smiling broadly, of course, while oddly wearing a doctor’s coat.

According to a report in the daily, Bayless was set to retire from her position last year. But on Dec. 31, the last day of her term, the board extended her contract while a search is underway for her replacement. Board Chairwoman Susan Gerard, a longtime Bayless associate, and board member Elbert Bicknell, voted against the pay raise. The three newly elected board members Mary Harden, Mark Dewane and Terence McMahon, who could afford to take the heat, approved the increase, saying they wanted to give Bayless a raise since the national search firm for Bayless’ replacement regarded her salary “well below” the median range for others in comparable positions.

Let’s put this all in perspective: The $217,400 salary of the chief justice of the United States Supreme Court pales in comparison. The President of the United States, whose base salary tops out at $400,000 a year, trails both Michael Crow and Betsey Bayless. David Cavazos, Phoenix’ problem plagued city manager, is right on the POTUS’ tail and has left Justice John Roberts in the dust.

These lavish gifts are your tax dollars, folks.

28 Responses to Betsey Bayless: $peaking of outrageous pay raises

  1. PV PC says:

    The only place Betsey Bayless has ever been “center right” is in the photograph you link to. She’s a well known RINO who cashed in with liberal Janet Napolitano. Bayless is part of an influential family and was wealthy in her own right before getting these high paying appointed posts. Calling her a political hack is actually showing her kindness. .She’s always been known as a squishy sell-out.

  2. Westnash says:

    What an absolute travesty. Those who voted for should be voted out!

    • Kent says:

      Read the link to the Board of Directors. They are elected (by district voters) to four year terms. Do you have any idea who you voted for? Most people don’t. You probably voted for the one representing your district.

  3. Arizona Conservative Guy says:

    Betsey Bayless is a wealthy political manipulator with a single mastery: benefiting from the system. What’s so outrageous in all of this is that the Maricopa Integrated Health System was formed to address the needs of indigent patients. It’s funded in large part through property taxes on homeowners, many who are seniors reliant on social security and who should rightfully be exempt from continuing to pay property taxes on homes they own outright after making mortgage payments for 30 years. For Bayless to lock into this new set of monies on top of her previous astronomical salary and perks is unconscionable. Thanks to SRAZ for another excellent exposé.

    • Westnash says:

      I agree,,,thanks SRAZ…now what can be done about this?

      • LD 7 PC says:

        Good question. Do YOU have any suggestions?

      • Westnash says:

        Would SRAZ agree to develop a petition process that shows its views and the views of its readers and be sent to the BOD showing the outrage of the citizens?

      • Frankly Speaking says:

        Petitions are worthless, but since you are up writing comments in the middle of the night, this is obviously the ideal job for you.

        The deed has been done. The Board of Directors met, voted and extended our generosity without our consent or knowledge. What would you hope to accomplish?

      • eubykdisop says:

        Westnash, I really don’t understand why you continually seek to morph SRAZ into something which it is not and which it has no intention of being.

        SRAZ has told you, clearly and explicitly, that it’s purpose is to inform from a Conservative perspective and that it is not an “action” entity. It’s an “information” entity. Readers may use the information presented to initiate any actions they wish.

        Criticizing SRAZ for failure to initiate petitions would be like faulting National Review Online for not doing so. The purpose of both is solely to inform.

  4. jcf says:

    Was it not those working for hospitals that pushed through the vote to establish this system so that the indigent would not be at their hospitals? (Kinda like the Chicago hospital where MIchelle Obama worked and which sent the indigent to a city or county hospital.) Those who fought against it knew it would be a gravy train for those who supervised the operation (excluding someone of character like Bicknell). Of course, how many out there have the vote when they own no property and therefore are not forced to support the System with one dime.

  5. Observer says:

    In 2008, the Arizona Republic newspaper wrote this about Bayless’ ineptness for the high paying position she holds:
    “Not all has gone smoothly for Bayless. Last year, MIHS received a preliminary denial of accreditation after inspections by the Joint Commission, a national organization that accredits more than 15,000 health-care organizations, including 4,200 hospitals. Less than 1 percent of hospitals surveyed by that organization in 2006 received that rating.

    The inspectors evaluated staff performance, patient care and key operations that affect the quality and safety of patient care. Bayless and staff appealed the rating to an accreditation-review committee. Last month, they submitted evidence that they are in compliance with many of the problem areas identified by inspectors, and that plans are in place to address other issues.

    The hospital system is now conditionally accredited. Only three percent of hospitals surveyed by the commission in 2006 held that rating, said Ken Powers, spokesman for the commission. Inspectors typically survey conditionally rated hospitals in a follow-up, unannounced visit, he said.
    The Republic asked to review the commission’s initial report to evaluate the problems. MIHS’s attorneys have asked a Maricopa County Superior Court judge to determine whether they are obliged to honor the newspaper’s public-records request. Since then, MIHS attorneys have argued against its release for public inspection.”

    So not only is she overpaid and inept, but she and the staff attorneys working for her go to the wall to conceal the low ratings she and the MIHS received from the public who foot the bill for this massive free flow of money from our pockets into hers.

    Read the account for yourself:

  6. Claire Voyant says:

    What happens to Warren Whitney when Bayless finally moves on? He’s been her perennial assistant at every job she’s held. When she was appointed to fill out Jane Hull’s term as Secretary of State Whitney was her right hand man. Ditto at the AZ Department of Administration, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors and now at MIHS. He’s too young to retire. With all of her money, maybe she’ll keep him on her personal payroll to buff her shoes, hose down the driveway and groom her horse??

  7. eubykdisop says:

    Oh, what I could tell you about MIHS! There are some really good and talented people there who do superb work but that is despite management and administration and not because of it.

    Holder and Obama have nothing on MIHS in terms of stonewalling, LOL! It’s classic government style “circle the wagons”. I once forced them to give me an answer about something and considered that a major accomplishment, not that it did any good.

    If you want to know how it is, imagine the worst aspects of a dysfunctional government bureaucracy applied to a healthcare setting. That’s not such a big deal if you’re pushing papers but it doesn’t lend itself very well to caring for patients!

    • Night Owl says:

      Any specifics you can share, euby? It sounds as though you have an insider’s perspective. Most of us don’t.

      • eubykdisop says:

        Managers who have personal relationships with those they supervise. The favoring of and protection of employees whose clinical practice is substandard and who put patients at risk for their own personal convenience because those employees have a personal relationship with the manager. Illogical and counterproductive staffing decisions based upon the personal preferences of those with whom managers have a personal relationship. Flagrant violations of Human Resources policies and procedures. Resistance by Human Resources to disclosing written policies governing how employees are to be uniformly treated. High turnover in certain clinical areas due to dysfunctional treatment of staff by managers. Setting a goal of reducing turnover while pretending that the cause for high turnover is not known and implementing “solutions” for high turnover which don’t address the known underlying problems. Awareness on the part of administration of the actual problems while pretending that they don’t know the nature of the actual problems and failing to act to correct those problems.

        Things remain bad down the chain of command because those at the top choose to not see and to not deal with the dysfunctional behaviors of those below them. Don’t rock the boat. Follow “omerta”, the code of silence. The nail that sticks up gets hammered down. Everything is based upon who you know and who you are friends with. If you are in the “inner circle”, you can do no wrong and everything goes your way, regardless of actual competency and performance.

        The problem with all of this is that it impacts patients and the care they receive. That’s because things aren’t patient centered, they are staff centered.

  8. Westnash says:

    My suggestion and question is: Are the BOD members subject to a recall?

    • eubykdisop says:

      Good question, Westnash! Now, why don’t you get on your computer and find out the answer to that question for yourself. You may even have to make some phone calls to find out. You want to get the right answer so that you don’t make misstatements like this:

      “Westnash says:
      January 15, 2013 at 11:47 am”

      “Euby, this may come as a great shock to you but someone being a communist or socialist is not against the law.”

      Being a Communist is illegal under the Communist Control Act of 1954.

  9. Westnash says:

    Euby, unless there is something I am missing, there is nothing posted on SRAZ website that shows you have anything to do with something “which it is not and which it has no intention of being.”

    Conservative means control of government growth and taxation of the public as much or more than the social agenda which you seek to spout about.

    Everytime there is an extra .01 spent or budgeted or thrown away or traded for favors in salary and expenses such as this thread discusses it sets a precedent for the future. These four BOD members should be thrown out on their asses for this type of spending increase. There is a tit for tatt somewhere in this.

    • eubykdisop says:

      Westnash, SRAZ has told you repeatedly and explicitly what it is and what it is not. You may have failed to take that in but others have not.

      No, Westnash, Conservative means opposing the gun control legislation which you support and claim is inevitable.

      “Westnash says:
      January 8, 2013 at 8:00 am”

      “There will be some changes in gun regulations at some point in 2013 and the Republicans who only tow the NRA line of “no” will lose. Wouldn’t you rather outsmart your opponent than trying unsuccessfully in throwing up a wall, that is crumbling down around you.”

  10. Westnash says:

    SRAZ do you have images of all these people you can post?

    • Seeing Red AZ says:

      One of the hallmarks of Seeing Red AZ are the authenticating links that provide background information on what is written You might try clicking them on. Under the link “five-member Board of Directors” you will find their photos, bios and districts they represent.

      • eubykdisop says:

        Yes, SRAZ, but do you have images of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders you can post? Westnash needs them a lot! ;-)

  11. Kent says:

    The links are very helpful. I usually check them out, since they flesh out what I’m reading here. Instead of just getting “opinion” there are additional facts to bolster the post. I’ve been reading this site for years and appreciate the extra background. Often there are links within the articles I’m taken to that give an even more in-depth picture, especially if there have been multiple articles on the same or related topic.

  12. StetsonXXX says:

    This is beyond disgusting. These people — the Three Stooges on the Board of Directors who voted for this sky high pay increase and bonus, and Betsey Bayless herself — are playing us for fools.

  13. […] past weekend we reported the on the obscene salary increase given to nearly retired Betsey Bayless, 68, the CEO and president of Maricopa Integrated Health […]

  14. David Clingo says:

    Ignoring Betsey’s competence for the moment, please share how you would feel if Betsey (or any other executive paid by a tax-exempt entity) would be paid in an alternative way. Here’s the idea. What if Betsey, rather than getting the potential $250K raise and bonuses as salary, was given the same amount as a loan? The loan would be secured by a life insurance policy death benefit to secure full repayment. This arrangement would provide tax and financial benefits to the executive AND would provide the equivalent of a deferred charitable gift. In essence, every dollar that the executive receives in this alternative manner will ultimately be returned back to the organization as a cash benefit. In the absence of this alternative compensation arrangement, the organization would have expensed the funds as compensation and would have nothing to show for it, now or in the future. In Betsey’s case, Maricopa would see a potential decrease of $250K in salary expense and would get back the $250 upon her death. I’d really like to get a sense for how you would feel about loans replacing salaries and bonuses for highly paid executives.