Hospital CEO Bonuses Reward Volume and Growth

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While targets for revenue and admissions reflect a system that has traditionally rewarded volume, he said, CEO incentive goals "are moving toward a greater balance toward quality and safety, patient satisfaction, employee satisfaction and finances."

At Valley Medical Center, outside Seattle, CEO Roodman's pay has been tied to profit and increases in procedures such as robotic surgery in addition to quality and patient satisfaction targets.

Financial strength is necessary for Valley Medical Center to deliver the best care, Roodman said via email.

"For us, growth is necessary as long as the demand remains, and we are growing as responsibly as possible," he said.

Roodman and other Valley officials portray the hospital's recent alliance with UW Medicine, at the University of Washington in Seattle, as a way to improve care and efficiency. But his 2013 pay package still includes incentives for expansion and profit.

The UW Medicine deal may contribute to both.

The alliance is "nothing about affordable health care. It's just about negotiating power with the insurance companies," said Dr. Paul Joos, an ophthalmologist and member of Valley's board who has clashed with Roodman and other trustees. "All these hospitals, they talk about quality and how to make things more affordable. But in the board meetings I'm at, they're always talking about how to charge you more."

KHN reporter Sarah Barr contributed to this story.

Kaiser Health News is an editorially independent program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan health policy research and communication organization not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

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