February 10, 2013

Editorial: Big paycheck, big responsibility


We are able to say, in the case of the other hospital leaders, that it does not appear their salaries are out of line with their responsibilities. That is, of course, in the eye of the beholder. The numbers look big to most of us in the region, whose salaries are far lower, but, remember, these people are running the equivalent of multi-million-dollar industries.

The average hospital CEO salary, nationwide, is $500,000, factoring in the biggest facilities and the smallest. Local officials say their salaries fall in the mid range for hospitals of their size. 

The level of responsibility in running a hospital is oppressive. You have to be on top of — ahead of, actually — a myriad of federal and state regulations, national health-care trends, reimbursement issues, employee relations, cash flow and much more. Even more imposing: Your facility has the lives of thousands of people in its hands.

Finding and retaining competent hospital leaders is a challenge anywhere — and more so in a rural region that can’t offer the pay and amenities of urban areas.

As for how the CEOs are regarded personally, it is up to each of them to earn the respect that goes with the paycheck.

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