SullivanCotter Releases Results from the 2015 Manager and Executive Compensation in Hospitals and Health Systems Survey

October 5, 2015

MINNEAPOLIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–SullivanCotter, a human resources and total compensation consulting firm, recently released results from the 2015 Manager and Executive Compensation in Hospitals and Health Systems Survey. Now in its 23rdyear, the survey provides critical benchmarking data on compensation trends and pay practices, and is the largest and most comprehensive of its kind for hospitals and health systems nationwide. Information was collected from over 1,700 organizations comprising more than 400 health systems and 1,300 hospitals, and includes data for nearly 27,300 executives and managers.

While changes in base salary are generally consistent with last year’s overall change, total cash compensation (TCC) has increased at a higher level. Median TCC saw an overall increase of 6.9% for top executive positions. This is higher in health systems at 7.4%, which is up from 1.8% in the 2014 findings. While the prevalence of annual incentives has remained the same, the number of organizations paying incentive awards and paying at target levels increased this year. “Health systems continue to embrace performance-based pay. This year, 28% more reported hitting their annual incentive targets, and these payouts contribute to the overall increase in total cash compensation,” explains Tom Pavlik, Managing Principal, SullivanCotter.An analysis of the data indicates that median base salaries rose 3.1% overall for executives at hospitals and health systems. Health system jobs saw a slightly higher median increase at 3.6%, while hospital jobs more moderately increased by 2.6%. “Although overall growth remains consistent with last year, we are seeing some variation based on the size and type of organization. Large systems with over $1 billion in revenue and large hospitals with $300 million or more in revenue saw median base salaries increase at a faster rate than their smaller counterparts,” said David Dethmers, Manager of Information, General Industry Surveys, SullivanCotter. These increases were both above average at 3.6% and 3.0% respectively.

In addition, the complexity of executive roles at the system level is increasing. “As health care organizations continue to consolidate and integrate in an increasingly competitive health care environment, an executive’s scope of responsibility and span of control is expanding. These changes are impacting the way in which executives are compensated,” said Kathy Hastings, Managing Director, Executive Compensation Practice Leader, SullivanCotter.

For more information on SullivanCotter’s surveys, please visit our website at or contact us by phone at 888.739.7039.


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