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Hospital CEO Turnover Rate Remained Steady in 2021

Analysis  |  By Melanie Blackman  
   May 25, 2022

Among the states with the highest turnover rate were Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Wyoming, Florida, and Arizona.

According to a new report by the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), the turnover rate for hospital CEOs in 2021 remained the same as the turnover rate in 2020.

In 2021 and 2020, CEO positions turned over at a rate of 16%, which was lower than the previous eight years, the report found. The last time the turnover rate was at 16% was a decade ago in 2021 and 2011.

The states with the highest turnover rates in 2021 include:

  • Puerto Rico: 50%
  • Rhode Island: 33%
  • Wyoming: 33%
  • Florida: 28%
  • Arizona: 27%

The District of Columbia had the lowest turnover rate of 0%, followed by Nevada which had a 3% turnover rate.

The turnover rates in the report are based on CEO changes at nonfederal, short-term, general medical, and surgical hospitals, that were reported to the American Hospital Association, then confirmed by ACHE data and public sources.

"Hospital leaders have played, and continue to play, a critical role in our recovery from the COVID crisis, and the value of strong, capable leaders has never been more evident," president and CEO of ACHE, Deborah J. Bowen, FACHE, CAE, said in the report. "While continuing to address immediate patient needs, healthcare leaders have long been looking beyond the pandemic to position their organizations for the future. This includes succession planning and a focus on developing a pipeline of leaders equipped to address the challenges of tomorrow."

We'll have to wait and see what 2022 will bring for hospital CEO turnover. The pandemic continues to affect the healthcare system. It brought on delayed retirements, burnout, and the Great Resignation, which may have an effect on this year's CEO turnover rate.

According to a recent report released by Challenger, Gray & Christmas, hospital CEO exits through April were up 80% from exits through April 2021. The analysis found that 36 hospital CEOs have made departures this year, compared to 20 hospital exits announced through April 2021.

Melanie Blackman is the strategy editor at HealthLeaders, an HCPro brand.

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