Hospitals seek leaders with finance--not healthcare--experience

With the healthcare landscape shifting quickly, hospitals have a new strategy for hiring leaders as well. A whopping two-thirds of hospital CEOs hired in 2014 will come from a non-healthcare background, according to a Black Book Rankings poll of more than 1,400 human resource professionals at healthcare organizations.

The trend has developed in recent years, as hospitals and headhunters seek new ways to solve emerging business challenges, such as payment reform and hospital bankruptcies. In 2013, just 39 percent of newly hired CEOs came from another hospital CEO position, compared to 79 percent in 2009.

"An outside hire will not have developed hospital management skills from within or understand an organization's unwritten rules at first, but that's not a bad thing either as more hospitals face fresh ideas to avoid bankruptcy, expedite smoother consolidations, conquer payment reform and productivity issues," said Doug Brown, managing partner of Black Book, in the survey announcement.

Hospitals will look for fresh insight from a variety of industries, including venture capital/private equity (42 percent), finance/accounting (40 percent), banking (32 percent), technology (22 percent), marketing/sales (19 percent), not-for-profits (14 percent) and pharma/biotech (12 percent).

Accordingly, 94 percent of CEOs coming from other industries indicated that they do not believe healthcare expertise is required for replacing other senior leadership team members after a management overhaul. The automotive and insurance industries have also turned to outside expertise in recent years to improve upon the status quo, according to the announcement.

The research also revealed:

  • The average tenure of a hospital CEO is less than 3.5 years;
  • Fifty-six percent of CEOs exits are involuntary;
  • Nearly half of chief finance officers, chief information officers and chief operating officers are terminated within nine months of a new CEO's hire; and
  • Eighty-seven percent of chief medical officers are typically replaced within two months of a new CEO's appointment.

To learn more:
- here's the announcement