Hospital CEO pay not linked to quality of care

CEO compensation at nonprofit hospitals varies widely across the United States and is influenced by such factors as hospital size, setting, use of technology, and patient satisfaction — but not quality of care, according to a new study led by Harvard School of Public Health’s Karen Joynt, instructor in the Department of Health Policy and Management, and Ashish Jha professor of health policy and management.

The study was published online October 14, 2013 in JAMA Internal Medicine. Read abstract.

Understanding the factors behind CEO pay is important because these executives drive hospital priorities, according to the researchers. “Maybe just having a little bit more information about the lack of correlation between quality metrics and CEO compensation might start a conversation about how we could use compensation as a tool to help incent the kind of behavior and the kind of priorities we think are most important in nonprofit hospitals,” Joynt said in a video interview with Medpage Today.

See coverage in Medpage Today and Reuters.

Jha also recently blogged about how hospitals’ investments in hotel-like amenities may put patient safety at risk. The audio version of this commentary aired on WBUR October 14, 2013.

Learn more

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