Exec search firms busy fill­ing new types of health­care jobs

Modern Healthcare - - BY THE NUMBERS - By Michael San­dler

Ex­ec­u­tive search firms say the rapidly chang­ing health­care land­scape is cre­at­ing new types of job op­por­tu­ni­ties for se­nior ex­ec­u­tives. And search firms are work­ing with their health sys­tem clients to es­tab­lish more qual­ity-based bonuses for chief ex­ec­u­tives.

The role of chief pop­u­la­tion health of­fi­cer is so new that search firms have dif­fi­culty lo­cat­ing qual­i­fied and ex­pe­ri­enced can­di­dates, said Abbe Ul­rich, prin­ci­pal of health­care prac­tice at Los An­ge­les-based Korn Ferry. “There are not a lot of peo­ple that have been there, done that,” she said.

Shifts and re­def­i­ni­tions of roles are lead­ing to in­creased CEO turnover, re­search shows. CEO turnover at hos­pi­tals hit 18% in 2014, an an­nual per­cent- age that’s only been matched four times since 1981 and sur­passed only once, ac­cord­ing to a March study by the Amer­i­can Col­lege of Health­care Ex­ec­u­tives. Some move­ment can be linked to re­tire­ments and M&A ac­tiv­ity, ac­cord­ing to the study, but some ex­ec­u­tives step down be­cause of the need to nav­i­gate a rapidly chang­ing in­dus­try.

Turnover has forced firms to put more re­sources into plac­ing ex­ec­u­tives. De­mand for se­nior ex­ec­u­tives was high in 2015’s first quar­ter, and B.E. Smith has in­creased the num­ber of its health­care re­cruiters by 10% over 2014, said Mark Mad­den, se­nior vice pres­i­dent of ex­ec­u­tive search at the Lenexa, Kan.-based search firm.

Com­pen­sa­tion bonus packages that re­ward CEOs for hit­ting qual­ity bench­marks such as pa­tient and physi­cian sat­is­fac­tion are be­com­ing more com­mon. “All lev­els of man­age­ment need to have that,” Mad­den said.

Com­pa­nies be­gan mov­ing away from perk-based bonuses, such as coun­try club mem­ber­ships, about five years ago, said Kathy Noland, vice pres­i­dent of ex­ec­u­tive search at B.E. Smith. They re­ceived bad press for th­ese per­ceived lux­u­ries, she said.

B.E. Smith uses a four-pil­lar in­cen­tive plan in which 25% of the bonus is tied to per­for­mance on qual­ity, work­force, growth/mar­ket share or com­pany fi­nan­cial strength, Noland said. The qual­ity met­rics pil­lar, she said, takes into ac­count a provider’s re­sults in CMS core mea­sures, reg­u­la­tory and ac­cred­i­ta­tion re­sults, and pa­tient-sat­is­fac­tion scores.


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