Hospital CEO pay, patient outcomes not in sync

Associated Press

Photo: Image by MGN Online

Hospital CEO pay, patient outcomes not in sync

CREATED Oct. 15, 2013

CHICAGO (AP) -- A new study finds that CEOs at nonprofit hospitals earned an average of $600,000 a year -- and in some cases, more than $3 million -- but there was no correlation between high pay and good outcomes for patients.

According to the research, CEOs were paid more at hospitals that got high patient satisfaction scores, used more high-tech equipment, had more beds and were located in large urban areas. But pay wasn't reflected in 30-day outcomes for patients with heart attacks, heart failure or pneumonia, including deaths and readmissions. Those are among publicly reported outcome measures used by the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and others.

While nonprofit hospitals get big tax exemptions for providing charity care and other community benefits, the researchers said the top executives' annual pay wasn't tied to those measures, either.

The study appears in Monday's JAMA Internal Medicine.

An editorial disputes the conclusions and says CEOs' pay is based on quality measures the researchers didn't consider.

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