Hospitals dole out hefty pay packages to medical directors

A medical director is costing some hospitals almost $1 million each year, HealthLeaders Media reported. And roughly 60 percent of hospitals spent at least $500,000 on medical director compensation last year, according to a new compensation survey from INTEGRATED Healthcare Strategies (HIS) that analyzed more than 3,000 medical directors.

That stems, in part, from hospitals doling out more bonus payouts. This year, 35 percent of medical directors are getting bonuses, up from 27 percent last year, the survey found.

That number could rise, as more than 25 percent of surveyed organizations are looking into offering bonus payments to their medical directors, up from 19.4 percent last year, HealthLeaders noted. 

The growing incidence and consideration of medical director bonuses shows how hospitals are investing more time and money into medical leadership positions, Chad Stutelberg, INTEGRATED Healthcare Strategies' executive vice president and practice leader for physician services, told HealthLeaders.

With such hefty compensation going toward medical directors, hospitals likely spread out the expenses among several director positions rather than one highly-paid physician leader. "[I]nstead of paying one physician, I'm going to pay five or six, working actively," Stutelberg noted.

For instance, under a proposed bill in New Jersey, the state medical director for emergency medical services and three regional medical directors would earn salaries totaling $600,000 a year, the Asbury Park Press reported.

The survey comes only a few weeks after a Hay Group CEO compensation study indicated healthcare salary increases appear to be slowing down.

For more:
- read the HealthLeaders article
- here's the survey announcement
- read the Park Press article