Last year's tidal wave of mergers and acquisitions reversed a two-year decline in the turnover rate for hospital chief executive officers, according to data that will be released next month by the American College of Healthcare Executives.
The Chicago-based ACHE is a professional society representing 28,000 healthcare executives. Its turnover figures are based on data from the American Hospital Association.
According to the ACHE's figures, some 14.3% of hospital CEO positions turned over in 1994 after a two-year drop in the turnover rate. The rates in 1992 and 1993 were 14.5% and 13.9%, respectively (See chart).
The 1993 turnover rate was the lowest since 1990, when just 12.8% of the top jobs at the nation's hospitals turned over (Aug. 8, 1994, p. 18).
The highest CEO turnover rate occurred in 1987, the first year for which the ACHE calculated a rate. That year, 24.2% of CEO posts turned over. The rate has steadily dropped since then with the exception of a jump in 1991, when 16.7% of the CEO positions changed hands.
But last year's merger-and-acquisition activity knocked that trend off course. According to a report by MODERN HEALTHCARE, more than 650 hospitals, or more than 10% of the nation's hospitals, were involved in mergers or acquisitions last year (Dec. 19/26, 1994, p. 47). A CEO can lose his or her job in such cases and others may opt to leave because of the changes, human resources consultants say.
After adjusting for the number of hospitals within a state, the ACHE also calculated CEO turnover rates for each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. The highest adjusted CEO turnover rate was reported in the District of Columbia, where 25.3% of the top jobs were filled by new people, the ACHE said. The District of Columbia was followed by Montana (23.8%), New Mexico (20.1%) and Kentucky (19.5%).
No CEO turnover was reported in Delaware or Vermont. Other states with low adjusted turnover rates in 1994 were Washington (6.2%), New Jersey (7.7%) and New Hampshire (8.8%).