Despite slow growth for other industries, healthcare leader pay continues to climb

Healthcare executives saw salary increases in 2015 even as chief executive officer and chief financial officer salaries in publicly-traded companies in general saw slower growth, due in large part to the increasingly consumer-centered healthcare market, according to a new study. 

The research, conducted by accounting/consulting organization BDO USA, found CEO and CFO pay across the board saw a reduced growth rate, with CEO pay increasing 0.7 percent in 2015 compared to 12.6 percent last year and CFO pay growing 4.9 percent compared to last year's 8.2 percent.

Healthcare ranked as the number three industry for CEO and CFO pay, behind only real estate and technology, according to the study.

Average healthcare CEO compensation increased from $2,552,529 to $3,951,907, while CFO pay jumped from $1,049,741 to $1,402,621, which the firm attributes in part to the healthcare industry's increased incentive to retain top leadership amid the industry's shift to a consumer-centric model. This added pressure, the report states, has healthcare organizations offering increasingly competitive compensation packages to their C-suite executives to prevent turnover.

Healthcare also led all industries in the study in growth of direct compensation, with CEO compensation increasing 55 percent and CFO compensation increasing 34 percent. The industry with the next largest growth was financial services/banking, with 14 percent growth for both positions.

A May analysis by the Associated Press found healthcare has the highest median CEO pay of any industry at $13.6 million, and it may hurt consumers because executives whose compensations include equity-based pay stand to benefit from increased share prices.  

To learn more:
- read the study results