20 hospitals with smallest CEO-to-worker pay ratios

CEO pay at large has been a target of criticism by workers in recent months, including physicians and travel nurses, and the issue has surfaced as healthcare professionals negotiate their own pay. 

Amid this criticism, Lown Institute, a nonpartisan think tank, has measured hospitals' and health systems' social responsibility via 53 metrics related to inclusivity, pay equity, community benefit, care value and outcomes. 

Below are the 20 hospitals out of 3,764 with the smallest gap in hourly wages between executives and hospital workers without advanced degrees, as measured by Lown Institute. Some of the 20 hospitals are part of the 21 health systems out of 307 with the smallest CEO-to-worker pay ratios, also measured by Lown.  

For both lists, the institute obtained data for CEO compensation from the Securities and Exchange Commission, public payroll data and IRS 990 filings from 2019. It obtained average worker wages from the CMS Healthcare Cost Report Information System. The institute included lower wage staff, such as janitorial and kitchen staff, and medical records personnel, and excluded professional staff such as physicians and nurse practitioners, whose jobs require specialized degrees.

If hospitals lacked complete wage index information in the CMS Healthcare Cost Report Information System, Lown substituted the average wage for hospitals in the same state and urban or rural status. It estimated hourly wages for CEOs based on the work hours listed in their IRS forms, defaulting to 46 hours per week when the hours were not listed, and calculated a ratio of CEO pay to average worker pay. The following hospitals earned five stars from Lown, the highest rating available. More information about the methodology and the full rankings are available here.

1. MUSC Medical Center (Charleston, S.C.) 

2. Kiowa (Kan.) District Hospital

3. Ascension St Vincent's St. Clair (Pell City, Ala.)

4. Marias Medical Center (Shelby, Mont.)

5. Falls Community Hospital & Clinic (Marlin, Texas)

6. Ascension St. Vincent's Blount (Oneonta, Ala.)

7. Mercy Hospital Cassville (Mo.)

8. Mercy Hospital (Moundridge, Kan.)

9. Mercy Hospital Aurora (Mo.)

10. West Holt Memorial Hospital (Atkinson, Neb.) 

11. Fairview Hospital (Great Barrington, Mass.)

12. Three Rivers Hospital (Brewster, Wash.) 

13. North Valley Hospital (Tonasket, Wash.)

14. South Central Health (Wishek, N.D.)

15. Excela Health Westmoreland Hospital (Greensburg, Pa.) 

16. Monroe County Hospital (Forsyth, Ga.)

17. Glenn Medical Center (Willows, Calif.)

18. Hanover (Kan.) Hospital

19. Baum Harmon Mercy Hospital (Primghar, Iowa)

20. Mercy St. Francis Hospital (Mountain View, Mo.)

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