Technology Boosts Pay
Other factors linked to higher CEO paychecks included bed size. Researchers found about $550 in additional CEO pay per additional bed and number of hospitals in a system, with $32,609 more for each additional facility.
Perhaps not as surprising, Jha says, is the link between the level of a hospital's technology, as measured by the industry's "technology index," and CEO pay. Hospitals with high levels of technology paid their CEOs about $663,800, or $136,000 more than hospitals with the lowest levels of technology.
Asked if the fact that there was no link between CEO pay and quality of care seemed odd, Jha says that it did surprise the research team.
"We didn't think there would be a big effect, but we were hoping that, given the national conversation we've been having about the importance of quality and reducing unnecessary healthcare spending, that boards would have taken this on a little more and made it a little more a priority, and [tried] to hold their senior managers a little bit more accountable than they are doing."
Asked which quality measures he thinks should be in the equation to determine CEO pay, Jha says that outcomes should be included and "should trump process measures."