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New Changes in Health Care Executive Pay

The Spring 2019 issue of Warren Salary Surveys is published and there are some interesting findings highlighted here.


Warren is the oldest and largest survey of its kind reporting 600 positions in the health care industry. Large and small health plans, health systems and ACOs are reporting their data every 6 months and the data includes salary, bonus by region and by size and type of plan.


This week saw a report of a large health system in the southwest began to move bonus payments in line with patient engagement. By using HCAPS score improvement as well as patient complaint resolution and satisfaction scoring to create a base formula for bonus pay, the health system is moving towards a more patient centric incentive system.


Signaling further changes in the health care compensation programs offered by Accountable Care Organizations and Health Maintenance Organizations, Warren is observing an increase in compensation for positions such as financial analysts representing a 3.32% increase over 2018 to $68,859 and Underwriters moving to $66,749 as an average reported nationally by over 160 plans over the past year (Collected in spring 2019).


VP of Planning and Development saw a large jump of 5% to $243,181.00 over last year, perhaps revealing more focus on new markets and new products. In the medical management departments, there was an increase in pharmacy service coordinator to $52,457, underscoring for many health plans the need to better manage pharmacy costs especially for Medicare Advantage patients.


The biggest gain was in the position of Clinical Informaticist: a 13% gain to a salary averaging $105,778. These people are very hard to find and several organizations have started to create an internal training program to move some of their health information specialists into affiliated support roles to learn the clinical informatics discipline and support the lead informatics person.


Finally, the newer lead executive positions in Accountable Care Organizations CEO show an average salary of $269,575 with a range of $211,911 in the mountain states to $356,888 in the northeast. The majority of the ACOs reporting were not-for-profit with an average of $280,953 salary. At this point few bonuses have been calculated for the ACO chief executive, but Warren sees the above formula of measuring patient engagement improvements to be a very new but a meaningful way for ACO Boards of Directors and managers to consider these types of incentives to attract and retain talented ACO executives who continue to be elusive in the marketplace.


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