New Research From HealthLeaders Media Finds Overwhelming Support for Compensation Incentives Tied to Clinical Performance

DANVERS, Mass., Nov. 8, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- U.S. healthcare executives overwhelmingly support tying compensation incentives to clinical performance, according to exclusive research released today by HealthLeaders Media.

The new survey, "Executive Compensation: New Metrics and Skill Sets," found that 38 percent of healthcare leaders are ready to overhaul their executive compensation strategies, and 95 percent of them want to have compensation incentives based more on clinical performance.

This research, based on a survey of the HealthLeaders Media Council – a qualified community of more than 5,200 healthcare leaders – found that, overall, 80 percent of healthcare executive compensation is base salary, while 10 percent is an incentive payment and the rest comes in the form of retirement and non-cash compensation. Of the four items mentioned most frequently as being the basis for incentives, two are conventional financial targets (operating margin and financial efficiency) and the other two are care performance metrics (patient satisfaction and clinical quality).

"Now, what we are really looking for when structuring compensation are measures of efficiency, good patient outcomes, cost management and operating margin," said Kenneth S. Lewis, MD, JD, CEO of Union Hospital of Cecil County in Elkton, Maryland.

Other interesting findings in the report included the following:

  • Operating margins continues to be the number-one incentive for executive compensation, used by 72 percent of those surveyed;
  • Half of the executives (53 percent) expect total compensation to increase next year, although most (56 percent) expect that increase to be relatively modest;
  • Overall, 89 percent of respondents agree completely or agree somewhat that annual incentive milestones may be too short, and that time periods longer than a year may provide a better match with performance.
  • The most frequently mentioned requirement for the financial success of CEOs is physician alignment skills (62 percent), followed as a distant second by performance metrics skills (39 percent); and
  • The majority of healthcare leaders (60 percent) rate cost containment as the leading skill requirement for non-CEO executives.

"The shift to value-based purchasing – linking payments to performance of healthcare providers -- is revolutionizing how healthcare executives hired, evaluated, compensated and incentivized," said Edward Prewitt, editorial director at HealthLeaders Media. "This report examines in detail how organizations are tying compensation to both financial performance and clinical metrics."

The comprehensive industry Intelligence Report is available for free download now:

In addition, two value-add versions of the report are available for purchase containing in-depth analysis and additional features. The Premium version, which may be purchased at, contains three case studies on how leading health systems are rethinking their executive compensation strategies, includes takeaways on each survey finding and lets buyers segment data according to their needs, and provides recommendations and discussion questions for healthcare leadership teams. The Buying Power version of this report, which is available for purchase at, is designed for healthcare industry suppliers and includes detailed drill-down data on purchasing trends and projections to aid sales strategies.

HealthLeaders Media

HealthLeaders Media, a division of HCPro, Inc., is a leading multi-platform media company dedicated to meeting the business information needs of healthcare executives and professionals. As an integrated media company, HealthLeaders Media includes HealthLeaders magazine,, the HealthLeaders Media Intelligence Unit, HealthLeaders Media Rounds events, HealthLeaders Media Breakthroughs reports, and California HealthFax. All these platforms may be found online at

CONTACT: Amy Wieman HCPro 781.639.1872 x 3351 or awieman@hcpro.comSource:HCPro, Inc.