Hospital CEO Pay Not Tied To Quality

David Pittman | MedPage Today | October 14, 2013

The compensation of nonprofit hospital executives wasn't linked to processes of care, patient outcomes, or the charity care the facility provided, a retrospective observational study found.

Chief executive compensation -- which averaged $595,781 in 2009 -- was correlated only to the hospital's use of technology (P<0.001) and patient satisfaction (P=0.006), according to the study published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine.

It's important to understand the factors that influence a CEO's compensation because executives drive a hospital's priorities, Karen Joynt, MD, MPH, of the Harvard School of Public Health, and colleagues explained in the introduction to their study.

But they found little correlation between nonprofit hospitals' traditional values -- charity care and mortality rates -- and their top leaders' pay, Joynt told MedPage Today in a video interview.