4 for-profit health system CEOs: Their paths to the top

The top jobs at for-profit health systems come with widespread responsibility — CEOs' oversight extends across giant networks spanning state lines. 

But they get hefty paychecks for taking on the role, with most raking in total compensation packages over $10 million. 

It takes time to rise the ranks and collect the influence — and benefits — of one of these positions. But there are a few common threads woven throughout these leaders' career paths: an MBA (specifically from the University of Nevada Las Vegas), and a few years as chief operating officer before assuming the helm. 

This is how the CEOs of HCA Healthcare (Nashville, Tenn.), Tenet Healthcare (Dallas), Community Health Systems (Franklin, Tenn.), and Universal Health Services (King of Prussia, Pa.), made it happen. 

Samuel Hazen. CEO of HCA Healthcare. 

$14.6 million total compensation in 2022: 

Mr. Hazen earned his bachelor's in finance from the University of Kentucky in Lexington and his MBA from the University of Nevada Las Vegas. In 1983, he began his career in Humana's Financial Management Specialist Program. 

He migrated into CFO roles at hospitals in Georgia and Las Vegas before becoming a divisional CFO for HCA, overseeing operations in markets including Northern Texas. He was promoted to CFO of the health system's Western Group — which represents approximately half of the company's revenue — before becoming its president. 

In 2011, Mr. Hazen was named president of operations for the health system. Five years later, he became its president and chief operating officer. 

He took the helm of HCA Healthcare in 2019, after serving 40 years with the health system. 

Saum Sutaria, MD. CEO of Tenet Healthcare. 

$11 million total compensation in 2022: 

Dr. Sutaria earned two bachelor's degrees — one in economics and one in molecular and cellular biology — from the University of California-Berkeley. He went on to receive a medical degree from the University of California-San Diego. 

He began his career at the University of California-San Francisco as an associate clinical faculty member, where he received further postgraduate training and specialized in internal medicine and cardiology. 

In 2001, Dr. Sutaria joined McKinsey & Co. He remained with the company for nearly two decades, serving as a director in its healthcare and private equity practices. 

Dr. Sutaria joined Tenet in 2019 as chief operating officer. Two years later, he was promoted to the helm. 

Tim Hingtgen. CEO of Community Health Systems. 

$6.3 total compensation in 2022: 

Mr. Hingtgen earned his bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Iowa in Iowa City and his MBA from the University of Nevada Las Vegas. 

He served in CEO roles for Brentwood, Tenn.-based Province Healthcare's hospitals before LifePoint Health acquired the system in 2004. From there, Mr. Hingten moved into for-profit healthcare, holding leadership titles including CEO and managing director for Universal Health Services' hospitals. 

After four years with UHS, Mr. Hingtgen joined CHS as vice president of division IV operations. He remained in his first role for five years before being promoted to president of the division; it was another half-decade before he was named chief operating officer of the company. 

In 2021, Mr. Hingtgen was named CEO after about 13 years with CHS. 

Marc Miller. CEO of Universal Health Services. 

$10.9 total compensation in 2022: 

Mr. Miller received his bachelor of arts in political science from the University of Vermont in Burlington, and later earned his MBA from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. 

Mr. Miller began his career at Universal Health Services in 1995 and held various leadership positions at hospitals. He served as COO at Wellington (Fla.) Regional Medical Center; assistant administrator at The George Washington University Hospital in Washington D.C.; and CEO of Central Montgomery (Ala.) Medical Center before ascending to corporate positions. 

Next, he ascended the ranks in divisional acute care operations, eventually becoming president of the acute care division in 2009. 

In 2021, Mr. Miller was named the health system's CEO after about 26 years within the enterprise. 

Follow the trajectories of the 11 highest-paid healthcare CEOs here.

Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars