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Highest Hospital CEO Turnover is in These States

Analysis  |  By Philip Betbeze  
   June 18, 2018

While the overall CEO turnover rate held steady in 2017, it remains among the highest rates calculated in the past three decades.

The Hospital CEO turnover rate in 2017 held steady at 18%, matching the rate reported by the American Hospital Association over the past three years, but less than the record high rate of 20% recorded in 2017.

A recent report by the American College of Healthcare Executives, based on American Hospital Association data, shows that the past five years represent the longest period of continuously elevated CEO turnover rates since the organization began studying the issue in the early 1980s, according to Deborah J. Bowen, ACHE's president and CEO.

"Hospitals and health systems continue to evolve and reorganize to meet the demands of the new healthcare environment at the same time many CEOs are reaching retirement age, all of which may be contributing to CEO turnover," she said in a release.

Some of the larger trends that may be contributing to higher turnover:

  • A surge of large healthcare mergers.
  • Retirements of longtime CEOs.
  • A wave of reorganizations and restructurings, which sometimes mean a layer of management being reassigned from what were formerly president and/or CEO positions.

While the national rate of CEO turnover seems stable over time, if elevated, some states are experiencing dramatically higher churn than others. Topping out at 38%—over the course of a single year—is Connecticut, where in the past few years, the state has simultaneously ratcheted up tax rates on hospitals while reducing the Medicaid reimbursement rate.

Top 10 states for CEO turnover, according to ACHE research, include:

  1. Connecticut: 38%
  2. Wyoming: 38%
  3. Idaho: 36%
  4. New Mexico: 31%
  5. Wisconsin: 25%
  6. Washington: 25%
  7. Oklahoma: 25%
  8. South Carolina: 24%
  9. Alaska: 22%
  10. Hawaii: 22%


The two lowest-turnover states were Vermont and Arkansas, which recorded 2017 turnover rates of 8% and 7%, respectively.




Philip Betbeze is the senior leadership editor at HealthLeaders.

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