30 Survey Findings on Nonprofit Health System Boards

How often do nonprofit health system boards meet and how long are their meetings? Is the CEO a voting member? How many committees do boards include?

"Governing the Value Journey: A Profile of Structure, Culture, and Practices of Boards in Transition," the 2013 biennial survey of hospitals and systems nationwide from The Governance Institute, helps answer these questions and more.

Here are some key findings from the latest edition of the survey.

Regularly scheduled board meetings each year
(Based on 59 respondents)
Two — 0 percent
Four, or quarterly meetings — 22 percent
Six — 22 percent
Seven to nine — 11.9 percent
10-11 — 27.1 percent
12, or monthly meetings — 11.9 percent
More than 12 — 0 percent
Other — 5.1 percent

Approximate time scheduled for board meetings
(Based on 60 respondents)
1-2 hours — 18.3 percent
2-4 hours — 51.7 percent
4-6 hours — 18.3 percent
6-8 hours — 6.7 percent
More than 8 hours — 5 percent

Number of standing committees
(Based on 49 respondents)
One to three — 8.2 percent
Four to five — 16.3 percent
Six to seven — 34.7 percent
Eight to 10 — 34.7 percent
More than 11 — 6.1 percent
(Median: 7 committees)

Number of voting independent board members, per Internal Revenue Services' definition of independent director
(Based on 60 respondents)
Two or fewer — 5 percent
Three to four — 0 percent
Five to six — 6.7 percent
Seven or more — 88.3 percent
(Median: 13 independent board members)

President/CEO's participation on the board
(Based on 62 respondents)
Board member and a voting member — 82.3 percent
Board member but not a voting member — 8.1 percent
Non-board member but regularly attends meetings — 9.7 percent
Non-board member and does not attend meetings — 0 percent

Maximum amount of consecutive terms a board member can serve under the system's bylaws: 3 (median based on 56 respondents)
Maximum age limit to serve on the board: 72 (median based on 62 respondents)

More Articles on Nonprofit Health System Governance:

Inside the Boardroom: 17 Findings on Non-Profit Health System's Governance Models
What Does Governance Look Like in the Country's Largest Health Systems? 8 Major Findings
Private Equity and Non-Profit Hospitals: Strange Bedfellows or Saving Grace?

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