The Truven Health Blog

The latest healthcare topics from a trusted, proven, and unbiased source.


Connecting CEO Compensation to Hospital Quality Measures

By Truven Staff
Jean Chenoweth imageHeavy media coverage about the size of the compensation packages of some major health system CEOs has led to calls for “pay for performance” and greater transparency. Behind much of this uproar are two key drivers.   The first is the growing interest of legislators like Senator Charles Grassley, Chair of the  Senate Finance Committee and Governor Cuomo of New York state to convert hospitals from not-for-profit 501©(3) status to taxable entities. The second is the national demand for higher value in healthcare. Media focus on byzantine hospitals billing practices has led to spotlights on multi-million dollar pay packages for CEOs of not-for-profit hospitals, and the general public has responded with concerns

In a recent article in ACO News, "Hospital pay now at risk for CEOs," Jean Chenoweth, noted the relatively new trend of hospital boards using performance metrics to determine CEO compensation. If this becomes a standard practice, this will align the performance metrics required of physicians with those of executive leadership. Through the 100 Top Hospitals® program, Truven Health is developing performance benchmarks that will be one of the tools available to hospital boards for determining CEO compensation packages. The Balanced Scorecard consists of 10 measures across four domains: quality, efficiency, finance and consumer assessment of care identifies top performing hospitals. The benchmarks include diverse quality and financial matrices to help manage complex health systems and hospitals.

For more information about the 100 Top Hospitals program, please visit 

Jean Chenoweth
Senior Vice President, Performance Improvement and 100 Top Hospitals

Are Doctors Learning From Hospitals?

By Truven Staff
Michael R. Udwin imageAs suggested in the recent article from Kaiser Health News, in collaboration with The Washington Post, “Medicare Announces Plans To Accelerate Linking Doctor Pay To Quality,” physicians will soon be confronted with a reality that hospitals have already experienced. With reimbursement currently at risk for readmissions, perhaps doctors can learn from hospitals as they adjust to a new world.

Hospital reactions to pay for performance have varied dramatically, from denial to indifference to dread. Those that have fared best recognized the importance of data and understanding their unique position within the care continuum. They began by asking the right questions. If heart failure readmissions were too high, they posited the “why.”  They were not afraid to pursue the follow-up questions, including “What populations are at higher risk?”, “Is this related to process or provider-related?” and “What needs to change within our control and outside our walls?”

Although doctors often pride themselves on the desire to deliver top quality care, in the office much of the focus for many has been on establishing an efficient, sustainable practice. Through hospital employment and other alignment strategies, physicians of late have begun to view their role as team member within an organization. As co-management of patients takes hold and process measures begin to meld with outcomes, this team approach will become even more important.

For some this will be a new way of viewing performance in the outpatient space.  Quality does count, as suggested in the article. And now more than ever, doctors can learn from hospitals, as they leverage data and ask the right questions to ensure the best for their patients.

Michael R. Udwin, MD, FACOG
National Medical Director