Top hospital CEO pay broken down by patient overnight stays

No other CEO came close to Roth’s earnings based on the measure.

Norman Roth of Greenwich Hospital, a part of the Yale New Haven Health System, Thomas Priselac of Cedar Sinai Health and Steven M. Safyer of Montefiore Health System lead a list of the highest-paid hospital CEOs based on a new metric: patient days.

Journalist Steven Brill used the new benchmark in a piece for Axios to determine not only how much hospital CEOs earn, but how much it costs patients. Brill came up with his lists by merging American Hospital Directory data about hospital operations, including patient bed and total patient days, with IRS information filed by nonprofit hospitals about CEO compensation. He then came up with lists of reported annual payouts to CEOs divided by the annual number of patient days recorded at each hospital.

Although the benchmark isn’t a perfect measure to compare CEOs, Brill said it is a good way to compare the relative scope of responsibilities for each CEO because it measures the number of patients each hospital serves and the extent of that service.


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And that amount is a lot, especially in the case of Roth, the head of the southern Connecticut hospital for the last nine months of the fiscal year 2015. He earned $56 for each patient night stay, based on his annual salary and bonus of $2.9 million and the 184 beds he supervised.

No other CEO came close to Roth’s earnings based on the measure. In fact, the earnings varied widely. The next-highest earner was Thomas Priselac, who earned $13.99 per patient stay at his Los Angeles-based hospital. In third place was Steven Safyer, who oversaw the New York health system and earned $7.14 per patient day.

The top three earners of CEOs who oversee the 20 largest hospital systems in the nation include:
  • Patrick Fry of Sutter Health ($6.88 per day)
  • William P. Thompson of SSM Health Care ($6.06 per day)
  • Jeffrey A. Romoff of UMPC ($4.99 per day)

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