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Hospital CEO pay, patient outcomes not in sync

6:39 PM, Oct. 14, 2013  |  Comments
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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 a new study.

CEOs were paid more at hospitals that got high patient satisfaction scores; used more high-tech equipment including advanced imaging machines; 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 in 2008, including deaths and readmissions. Those are among publicly reported outcome measures used by the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and others.

While these 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.

CEO compensation varied widely, from less than $100,000 to more than $3 million but averaged almost $600,000 in 2009, the study found.

The study was published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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