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July 20, 2022
David Burda
Economics Outcomes System Dynamics
4-Minute 4sight Commentaries

Will the Extended COVID Public Health Emergency Extend the Employment Contracts of Hospital CEOs?

Confirming what we said in a blog post at this time last year, the COVID-19 pandemic didn’t negatively affect the job security of hospital CEOs. If anything, it gave top hospital execs more job security as hospital boards clearly didn’t want to change leaders in the middle of a public health emergency despite hospitals’ shaky and uneven performance managing the crisis.

According to the latest annual hospital CEO turnover figures from the American College of Healthcare Executives, the hospital CEO turnover rate in 2021 was 16 percent. You can download the latest figures here.

That’s the same rate as in 2020 when the pandemic hit, and it’s down slightly from 17 percent in 2019, the year before the pandemic. The ACHE recorded the highest hospital CEO turnover rate in 2013 at 20 percent. The lowest was 13 percent in both 1983 and 1990.

If our theory is correct — the hospital CEO turnover rate holds steady or drops during times of trouble — then we should expect more of the same this year. President Biden recently extended the COVID PHE declaration from July 15 to October 13. That effectively extended the employment contracts of hundreds of hospital CEOs.

We’ll see.

Thanks for reading.

About the Author

David Burda

David Burda began covering healthcare in 1983 and hasn’t stopped since. Dave writes this monthly column “Burda on Healthcare,” contributes weekly blog posts, manages our weekly newsletter 4sight Friday, and hosts our weekly Roundup podcast. Dave believes that healthcare is a business like any other business, and customers — patients — are king. If you do what’s right for patients, good business results will follow.

Dave’s personnel experiences with the healthcare system both as a patient and family caregiver have shaped his point of view. It’s also been shaped by covering the industry for 40 years as a reporter and editor. He worked at Modern Healthcare for 25 years, the last 11 as editor.

Prior to Modern Healthcare, he did stints at the American Medical Record Association (now AHIMA) and the American Hospital Association. After Modern Healthcare, he wrote a monthly column for Twin Cities Business explaining healthcare trends to a business audience, and he developed and executed content marketing plans for leading healthcare corporations as the editorial director for healthcare strategies at MSP Communications.

When he’s not reading and writing about healthcare, Dave spends his time riding the trails of DuPage County, IL, on his bike, tending his vegetable garden and daydreaming about being a lobster fisherman in Maine. He lives in Wheaton, IL, with his lovely wife of 40 years and his three children, none of whom want to be journalists or lobster fishermen.

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