The turnover rate of hospital CEOs fell slightly in 2019 for the first time in five years, according to a report by the American College of Healthcare Executives, a professional group of healthcare executives.
Last year, 17% of hospital CEO positions at nonfederal, general medical and surgical hospitals turned over, up from 18%.
“Despite the slight drop in 2019, turnover rates in recent years remain at higher levels than in the past,” Deborah Bowen, ACHE’s president/CEO, said in a prepared statement.
Bowen attributed the consistently high turnover rate of recent years to systems restructuring to meet a changing healthcare environment and to CEOs retiring.
The past eight years marks the longest stretch in which the hospital CEO turnover rate was at 17% or above since the study was started in the early 1980s, according to a press release. The study tracks changes in an organization’s CEO reported to the American Hospital Association and confirmed by ACHE data and public sources.
The highest turnover rate was recorded in 2013 when 20% of hospital CEOs left their positions, according to the study. The lowest the turnover rate has been since the study began was 13%, in 1983 and 1990.
Last year, Delaware had the highest hospital CEO turnover rate of 40%, and South Dakota had the lowest at 2%, the lowest, according to the study. Among the departures in Delaware was Beebe Health’s longtime President and CEO Jeffrey Fried who resigned in March 2019 when the board of directors said it “wishe[d] to move ahead in new directions.”
The 2019 departures included Robert Chrencik, who left the University of Maryland Medical System amid financial scandal; Mark Frey, who departed Illinois-based Amita Health along with a number of other hospital leaders; and John McLain, who resigned from Florida-based Bayfront Health St. Petersburg at the same time as the hospital’s CFO.