Hospital CEO Pay Study

October 15, 2013 by  

Hospital CEO Pay Study, Hospital CEOs’ pay isn’t linked to their hospital’s benefit to the community. Nor is it linked to the quality of care the hospital provides, a new study found.

Instead, the chief executive officers, or CEOs, tended to earn more at hospitals with high patient satisfaction ratings and advanced technology.

“I was hoping I’d see even some modest relationship with quality performance,” said Dr. Ashish Jha. “I think we were a little disappointed.”

Jha worked on the study at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston. He and his colleagues combined data from tax returns, hospital surveys and performance and cost reports.

They looked at CEO paychecks in 2009 alongside hospital size, quality and other data from 2008, figuring salaries and bonuses might be tied to the prior year’s figures.

The study included 1,877 CEOs from 2,681 private, non-profit hospitals across the country. The average executive earned about $596,000. (In comparison, according to the Economic Policy Institute, CEOs at the top 350 U.S. companies made an average of $14.1 million each in 2012.)

Executive paychecks at hospitals varied widely. The CEOs with salaries and bonuses in the lowest 10 percent earned $118,000 a year, on average. They mostly worked at small, non-teaching hospitals in rural areas.

On the other end of the spectrum, executives in the highest 10 percent earned almost $1.7 million. They tended to head up large teaching hospitals in cities.

CEOs at hospitals that had more beds and more advanced medical technology made more money than those at other hospitals, the researchers found.

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