In the first six months of this year, MetroHealth System paid a consultant $240,000 in salary and expenses to do the job of the former hosptial controller, who was paid $105,000 annually. The county's safety-net hospital is under contract to pay Stephany Neel, who works for Maryland-based Kohler Healthcare Consulting, $275 an hour, plus "reasonable out of pocket expenses," which have amounted to more than $29,000 in the past six months. In addition to regular airfare from Florida to Cleveland, rental cars and hotel costs, MetroHealth has reimbursed Neel for flight seat upgrades, hotel valet parking and dinners at a few of the city's best restaurants. Neel first began working with the taxpayer-subsidized MetroHealth in July 2010, shortly before the health system's former full-time controller resigned with two weeks notice. Accounting, payroll and accounts payable functions are all the responsibility of the controller at MetroHealth.