Trinity Health system executives take home heftier paychecks when they keep patients healthy and out of the hospital. The annual incentive pay for each executive, including the 93-hospital system's CEO, is docked if Trinity's total patient population doesn't show reduced rates of obesity, smoking, readmissions and hospital-acquired conditions. Hitting financial targets, on the other hand, receives little weight in the incentive plan.
Trinity's strategy is a sharp departure from the status quo of CEO pay packages where financial incentives have long dominated. But it is a surefire way to focus top leaders' attention on the health system's mission to deliver better outcomes and lower costs to patients in the 22 states where it operates. “It's important to make sure you align incentives with desired outcomes,” Trinity CEO Dr. Richard Gilfillan said.
Trinity's board of directors sets performance goals each year. Ten percent or more of each eligible executive's total pay is put at risk. Of that amount, 20% is tied to reducing hospital-acquired infections and decreasing readmissions; 20% to smoking and pediatric obesity rates; 20% to patient satisfaction; and 20% to workforce engagement. The Livonia, Mich.-based system's operating performance accounts for the final 20% of the at-risk pay.