Turnover rate among healthcare industry CEOs reaches 18 percent

The turnover rate of high-ranking executives in the healthcare industry continues to remain elevated this year.

According to FierceHealthcare, the 2016 turnover rate for hospital CEOs reached 18 percent for the third straight year. Although not quite as bad as the 20 percent peak in 2013, it still remains among the worst in the last 20 years.

The rate of departing CEOs has remained steadily between 16 and 20 percent over the past six years. Even during the recession years, rates did not exceed the 2004 peak of a 16 percent turnover.

The data comes from the American College of Healthcare Executives in an announcement that suggested the continuously changing landscape of the healthcare industry and the ensuing demands on CEOs are partially to blame. The retirement of Baby Boomer leaders in the field and an organizational consolidation that sees no end are also reportedly to blame.

The reports analyzed the turnover over the past two decades state by state, including the District of Colombia and Puerto Rico.

Missouri, the District of Columbia, Alaska and Nevada were at the top of the list for states with the highest adjusted turnover rates. Only three states held single digit rates: Maine, Wisconsin and Puerto Rico, which had the lowest adjusted rate of turnovers, at just 2.

Following the 2013 peak in turnover among healthcare CEOs, FierceHealthcare reported predictions that in response, hospitals would look for qualified applicants that may have a background outside of the field. With such extensive reform taking place in the healthcare sector, hospitals turned toward CEOs who may have had prior experience in banking, finance, accounting, venture capital or even private equity.

Regardless of backgrounds, Deborah J. Bowen, president and CEO of ACHE, urged organizations to have proper strategies in place in the event of these significant changes in leadership.