APRIL 15, 2017

Welcome to the Health Care Compensation Update eNewsletter
Editor: Benjamin R. Grant

Key Considerations for Healthcare Executive Compensation Packages
Should healthcare executives be prepared for public pressure to cause board members to start questioning the packages and the formulas used to determine stock options, retirement plans and bonuses? These questions will come sooner rather than later if your organization is getting bigger through mergers and acquisitions and more service line leaders are added to the executive team, according to Kevin C. Talbot, managing director of Integrated Healthcare Strategies.

Christine Schuster, R.N., president and CEO of Emerson Hospital in Concord, Massachusetts, said its essential that the chairman of the compensation commission is someone who has the respect of the board. When boards don't trust the compensation committee to do their work it's a recipe for trouble, Talbot said. Therefore, it's important that the committee has the authority to approve salaries and has a good transparent process in place to report to the board. Chris Van Gorder, president and CEO of Scripps Health in San Diego, agreed that transparency about the process is critical. At one of his previous jobs, he recalled one board member who always voted no when it came to salaries because the compensation committee wouldn't share the figures with the full board. The board member always felt there was something sinister happening behind the scenes. And it may be helpful to hire a consultant to work with the compensation committee so it doesn't appear as if the CEO is advocating in what appears to be his or her best interest, said John J. "Jack" Lynch, president and CEO or Maine Line Health in Radnor, Pennsylvania.

Physician Compensation for Specialists 45.6% More than for PCPs
Physician compensation increased from $206K in 2011 to $294K in the past year, but specialists still earn more in annual wages than primary care providers. According to a recent Medscape survey, physician compensation for specialists was 45.6 percent more than what primary care providers earned in the past year. The survey of over 19,200 physicians in 27 specialists uncovered that the average physician income increased from $206,000 in 2011 to $294,000 this year. But specialists received about $316,000 annually, while primary care providers earned nearly $100,000 less in 2017. Increases in specialist salaries continue to drive recent physician compensation boosts. A July 2016 AMGA survey also found that physician wages rose by 3.1 percent in 2015, but the increase stemmed from three-fourths of specialists earning more.

5 'Health Care' Jobs that Are Thankfully Obsolete
You won't find these positions listed on today's job boards. Based in superstition, tradition, and very early science, medical careers of previous centuries can be unrecognizable by modern standards of medicine. Increased scientific knowledge and more rigorous standards for the efficacy and safety of treatments have changed the kinds of jobs found in the field of health care. Here are five we're glad were put out of business:

  • Leech Collector: Leeches have been a popular medical tool for about as long as they've existed, and those slimy things don't gather themselves. The collector, usually female, waded into a pond and waited for leeches to attach themselves to her legs. Then she would pluck them off, put them in a container, and sell them to the local doctor.
  • Plague Doctor: The name makes these guys sound like the medical forebears of today's epidemiologists and infectious disease specialists, but mostly they just dressed up like birds. When the bubonic plague hit over 600 years ago, it caused an estimated 100 million deaths around the world, with some victims dying within hours of falling sick.
  • Barber-Surgeon: A barber-surgeon in medieval Europe would offer the usual services of cutting your hair, shaving your face, or trimming your beard. But he could also turn his attention away from your shaggy locks and saw off that gangrenous arm that had been bothering you, if necessary. Barber-surgeons also yanked out teeth, removed hangnails, and offered bloodletting and enemas, if needed.
  • Toad Doctor: In the 18th and 19th centuries, toad doctors specialized in placing toads -- or toad parts or toad ashes -- on ailing patients. Toads were the treatment of choice in particular for a skin disease called scrofula (what we now call lymphadenopathy of the neck), which was often caused by tuberculosis.
  • Medicine Man: While the term "medicine man" or "medicine woman" is often applied to spiritual healers and leaders of various Native American cultures, there was a more specialized meaning back in the late 1800s to early 1900s. That kind of medicine man would roll into town with potions and elixirs, offering them as cures for the most intractable and aggravating conditions -- including insomnia, seizures, arthritis, and even the blues, blahs, and bloats of menstruation. And because cocaine and heroin -- legal and ubiquitous then -- were often among the ingredients, the medicine man's concoctions probably did offer some pain relief or pleasant sensations. The thing is, by the time the effects wore off and you were out of elixir, the medicine man was off to the next town.

Compensation Not a Primary Challenge for Nursing Recruiters
Factors such as engagement and leadership development play a larger role in nurse retention, HealthLeaders survey data shows. Healthcare leaders in the March 2017 HealthLeaders Media Nursing Excellence Survey say that nurse retention (61%) and nurse recruitment (59%) are the top nursing challenges that their organizations are facing. The next level of responses are nurse engagement (35%) and nurse leadership development (33%). Compensation requirements (26%) falls in the middle of the responses, indicating that money is not one of the main drivers in nurse employment, and that factors such as engagement and leadership development play a larger role in nurse retention.


4 Steps HR Can Take To Protect Employee Medical Records
Today's HR professional is inundated with electronic records and emails describing employees' physical conditions or accommodations. HR professionals responsible for employee benefits administration also have access to records relating to employees' participation in the employer-sponsored plan (such as medical, dental or vision benefits) that are subject to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 ("HIPAA"). Employers are legally required to keep all this information confidential and secure. Here are four ways HR can help: 1. Limit and track access to electronically-stored medical information. 2. Restrict employees from sharing medical information via email. 3. Do not unnecessarily store medical data. 4. Train employees to identify security threats and immediately report a suspected breach.

2017 Healthcare Talent Scan Report
The 2017 Healthcare Talent Scan report will help you better understand the challenges and opportunities facing healthcare HR -- how they've changed over the past year, and how you can expect them to change in the future. It is based on research from some our field's most trusted sources and covers a multitude of topics: Healthcare Workforce Overview; The Evolution of Primary Care Teams; Telemedicine's Growing Influence; The Rising Importance of Behavioral Health; How Consumerism is Changing Hospitals; New Strategies for Care Coordination; Employment Statistics for Physicians, Nurses and More; and Insights from HR Experts.

Breaking into HR Without "Official" Experience
So you fell into HR by accident and now want to establish yourself in a career? Join the club.
When you come to HR through happenstance--as so many people do--how can you brand yourself effectively to move up to the next rung? Below are some tips for rising higher in HR, regardless of where you are on your career journey.

  • Structure your resume differently. If the job titles on your resume or CV don't reflect your HR experience, recruiters may pass you over because they often take only a cursory glance at those documents. Instead, draw people's attention to your most relevant credentials right up top by eschewing the typical chronological format that most resumes follow. "Create your resume as an arc to tell the story of your journey to HR and your future trajectory in HR.
  • Volunteer to serve as your department's HR liaison for special initiatives. This is a great option if you're currently working outside HR but know you want to break into the profession.
  • Get involved in the HR community. You can continue building on this toehold by studying for certification in an area of HR specialization, joining a local chapter of an HR professional association and attending relevant industry events, such as ASHHRS and SHRM.
  • Develop coveted skills that few others possess. Building positive relationships is an essential skill in human resources. To separate yourself from the pack, you need to embrace not only the qualitative, holistic ethos that is already so prevalent in HR but also its opposite--namely, quantitative and analytic skills that showcase how HR's initiatives can benefit the bottom line.
  • Volunteer to gain more HR experience. Volunteer to take on more HR-related assignments. Be clear that you're seeking to gain more professional experience in a field that excites you and that, for now, you're happy to take on additional work on your own time and without more pay.

Featured Webinar: 5 Common Background Screening Mistakes Made During the Hiring Process
Tuesday, May 9, 2017
1:00pm ET, 12:00pm CT, 11:00am MT, 10:00am PT
(60 minute webinar)
Register Now!
Background checks are a common - and often required - element of any health care organization's hiring process. However, a tidal wave of new laws and regulations in the industry, and an onslaught of FCRA violations create uncertainty for many employers on how to ensure that their hiring processes are in compliance. In this webinar, Certiphi Screening's general counsel Alexander Erlam and associate general counsel/director of compliance Sadeq Khan explore five of the most common compliance mistakes employers make during the hiring process regarding background screening. Examples include missed red flags on the job application; "Ban the Box" and the criminal history question; FCRA disclosure and authorization forms; employment drug screening; and complying with FCRA requirements around the adverse action process.

Average Salary for Certification: Certified in Healthcare Compliance (CHC)

See How 7,700 HR Leaders, Executives and Comp Pros Are Approaching Pay this Year
In PayScale's eighth annual Compensation Best Practices Report, we touch on everything from compensation budgets to variable pay to talent retention to shed light on what organizations are focusing on in 2017 as it pertains to compensating employees. Learn about: Top comp priorities and concerns for orgs in 2017, The disconnect between employee and employer sentiment around pay, and How the most successful companies pay differently.

For a complimentary PayScale benchmark analysis for a position of your choice, please email BenG@payscale.com.

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Health Care Compensation Update e-Newsletter is one of a family of free e-Newsletters providing a complimentary video presentations and regularly updated news and key resources on major health care issues such as pay for performance, bundled payments and MACRA. To view and subscribe to other e-Newsletters go to www.HealthCareeNewsletters.com.


Benjamin R. Grant