Health IT pay continues upward trajectory

The scramble to meet Meaningful Use, ICD-10 and other federal mandates with a limited talent pool continues to push IT salaries up, according to a new compensation survey from the the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS).

Some of the biggest paychecks and raises are at consulting firms ($141,818, up 6.64 percent) and software companies ($116,159, up 5.74 percent), according to 1,160 responses from HIMSS members.

Overall, the average health IT salary was $113,269. More than two-thirds of respondents said they had received a raise, with the average pay bump equaling 4.16 percent. That compares with an average raise of 2.3 percent for IT pros in the industry overall, according to a to Computerworld survey published last spring.

Other results in the HIMSS survey included:

  • Since 2010, IT salaries have increased 5 percent for men ($130,800), but less than 1 percent for women ($99,523).  In 2013, men's raises were 4.75 percent and women's 3.71 percent. IT job site Dice.com has pointed out that in IT, gender differences in salaries can be explained through the fact that women tend to hold positions that pay less. It has found little gender difference between men and women holding the same position.
  • Executive salaries grew 6.10 percent to average $189,435, while staff pay increased 3.74 percent to $86,536.
  • 46.8 percent reported receiving a bonus; bonuses averaged 3 to 4 percent of annual salary.
  • Ambulatory facilities with less than 10 physicians reported the lowest compensation ($79,482), but highest average raise at 7.98 percent.
  • In addition to a near 7 percent pay bump, consulting firms paid bonuses for 70 percent of employee respondents.
  • The smallest increases among specific job functions were among medical records directors and applications systems analysts, both of which also ranked among the lowest average salaries.

Staffing topped the list as the most significant barrier to IT implementation among respondents to a HIMSS leadership survey published earlier this year.

The workload for CIOs, in particular, keeps growing, but compensation hasn't been rising accordingly, Fla.-based healthcare recruiting firm SSi-Search has reported.

Meanwhile, as the healthcare IT regulatory landscape continues to expand, a number of new job titles are cropping up, Bonnie Siegel, a healthcare IT recruiter with Witt/Kieffer, noted recently. They include "senior vice president, population health," "chief accountable care officer" and "president, institute of population health, education and innovation."

To learn more:
- find the survey
- read the Computerworld story
- here's the Dice.com article

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