Hospital CEO bonuses linked to safety

Increasingly, hospital CEOs are finding that their bonuses depend on how well they do at creating a safe environment for care. In the past, CEOs could expect to do well if their facility was profitable and beds were full, but today, with regulatory pressure mounting and public scrutiny on the rise, safety has become an important part of their job. Across the country, roughly half of hospital CEOs must meet safety goals--such as the number of patients wearing bar-coded wrist-bands or getting prompt balloon angioplasties--if they want their entire bonus. For example, at Boston's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, one-third of CEO Paul Levy's $195,000 annual bonus is lost if he doesn't meet safety standards, including meeting staff hand-washing goals and cutting hospital-acquired infections. (The trend isn't limited to CEOs, however: another large Boston-area hospital, Massachusetts General, now links 5 percent of overall compensation for senior VPs and medical department leaders to meeting safety goals.) Industry consultants say that the number of hospitals tying bonuses to safety performance is likely to climb substantially in coming years.

To learn more about this trend:
- read this piece from The Boston Globe