Highest-paying physician executive role not always CEO

The highest-paid physician executives are taking home an average of $499,000 in 2016. It may come as a surprise, however, that CEOs with MDs are not always the top-earning position.

This finding is among the results of the 10th biennial Physician Leadership Compensation Survey from Cejka Executive Search and the American Association for Physician Leadership, released Nov. 3.

The highest paid physician executives often serve in emerging roles, including physician in chief, chief strategy officer, chief transformational officer, chief innovation officer and chief integration officer.

"Physicians in these transformative roles are often tasked with 'connecting the dots' across the organization and care continuum to achieve the greater efficiency and effectiveness of care required by newer reimbursement models, including population health management and accountable care," said Joyce Tucker, executive vice president and managing principal at Cejka Executive Search.

According to the survey, the median compensation for the highest-paid emerging positions for physicians in the C-suite increased 6 percent from 2013 to 2016, from $469,000 to $499,000.

Here is the percent change for other physician C-suite roles.

CEO/President — Up 7 percent from $410,000 in 2013 to $437,500 in 2016

CMO — Up 6 percent from $365,000 in 2013 to $388,000 in 2016

Chief quality/patient safety officer — Held steady at $375,000 in both years

CIO/CMIO — Up 18 percent from $315,000 in 2013 to $372,500 in 2016

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