Nonprofit hospital CEO pay soars despite recession

Not-for-profit hospital chief executives in New Hampshire saw their compensation climb at rates significantly higher than other facility employees in recent years, according to a report by the New Hampshire Center for Public Policy released Monday.

The report concluded that CEO pay at the Granite State's 23 not-for-profit hospitals climbed on average 18 percent between 2006 and 2009, when wages were stagnant for many other workers during a severe recession, according to the Nashua Telegraph. Compensation ranged from about $150,000 to more than $1 million, the Boston Globe reported.

The report was released at a time when not-for-profit hospitals across the nation have come under fire for paying their CEOs hefty salaries while often skimping on charity care, prompting some jurisdictions to propose capping their compensation.

Only one facility reported a dip in compensation, according to the Telegraph. New Hampshire Attorney General Michael Delaney blamed the overall increase, in part, on a "log-rolling" effect used to set pay levels.

"Hospitals are supposed to use a range of salaries when setting their CEO compensation. In actual practice, hospitals tend to target the 75 percentile, and often higher, in setting their CEO's compensation," Delaney said in a statement.

"This creates an upward spiral and executive compensation can grow at a rate disproportionate to relevant measures of achievement, or to increases experienced by other sectors of the population. This appears to have been the case even during the significant economic downturn experienced since 2008."

To learn more:
- here's the compensation report
- read the Boston Globe article
- check out the Nashua Telegraph article
- read the New Hampshire AG statement