Hospital salaries rise with increased focus on doc alignment, ICD-10

Hospital employees in the C-suite and on the front-lines can expect to earn slightly more in 2012, according to a spring survey from consulting firm Integrated Healthcare Strategies.

Hospital executives will see their salary rise 2.5 percent this year, while middle management and staff will experience payment bumps of 2.8 percent and 2.6 percent, respectively, according to a statement yesterday.

With an optimistic outlook, nearly 90 percent of hospitals and health systems are maintaining or increasing their salary budgets compared with 2011.

Amid continued efforts to align hospitals and physicians, 37.8 percent of the respondents are incorporating physician alignment into their incentive plans. The most common physician alignment goal is "Meeting CMS Quality Standards," followed by "Physician use of electronic patient records" and "Readmission Rates," the survey found.

Such findings reflect the trend of more organizations moving away from a strict data-only percentile compensation model and including more quality incentives that align executives and physicians, James Nelson, managing principal of the Minneapolis office of Sullivan, Cotter and Associates said at this week's annual congress of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) in Chicago, FierceHealthcare previously reported. With that in mind, ACHE speakers encouraged executives to review compensation regularly on an annual basis.

Moreover, as the industry prepares to move to ICD-10, delay notwithstanding, the survey found that 60 percent of hospitals and health systems expect staffing adjustments, with 53.6 percent of those planning to hire more coders.

For more:
- read the survey statement
- check out the FierceHealthcare article on compensation tips