Why hospital CEO turnover is on the rise

Hospital CEO turnover reached an all time high of 20 percent in 2013. Experts cite a variety of causes for the uptick, according to MedCityNews.

As the healthcare industry consolidates and cuts costs, many executives may retire earlier than they have in past decades, Dona Padilla, a senior partner at Witt/Kiefer, told MedCityNews.

"I think CEOs who have been in the role for 10 or 15 years are asking themselves, do I really want to re-sign?" she said. "I don't think there's the ability to 'hang on' for two or three more years; there doesn't seem to be a gentle slide into retirement."

Mergers and acquisitions, which often lead to leadership restructuring, also contribute to turnover, according to the article. When an independent hospital gets acquired, for example, the CEO may not be equipped to move into a larger system or doesn't want to work in a larger hospital, Padilla told MedCityNews. Or the hospital board may decide they want someone else.

Hospitals should plan a few years ahead and develop succession plans to avoid a leadership crisis due to interim hires or executive vacancies, Padilla said. In recent years, physicians have been increasingly stepping into the CEO role, she noted.

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