Healthcare executive retention plans can be justifiable and effective

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Genesis HealthCare came under scrutiny this week when The Washington Post reported that its CEO retired just months after receiving a retention bonus of $5.3 million. At the time of the arrangement, the nursing home chain was already in financial crisis and facing a higher coronavirus death rate than its competitors.


Competition for healthcare executive talent continues to increase, making retention packages important. But when they aren’t well designed, they can be ineffective or even disastrous. It’s important for healthcare organizations to build a retention strategy that doesn’t cause more harm than good, especially now that the appropriateness of high executive pay is being called into question. 


At MaxWorth, we believe all healthcare executive compensation programs should be reviewed frequently with two things in mind: defensibility and effectiveness. 


Build a program that’s justifiable in times of financial crisis 


At a time when most healthcare organizations are strapped for cash, it’s a good idea to be able to demonstrate your organization’s ability to recoup a portion of your executive compensation expense. That’s why our Healthcare Executive Advantage Plan (HEAP) utilizes a cost-containment vehicle that allows an organization to do just that. The ability to recoup expenses allows an organization the freedom to offer rewards that attract and retain executives without compromising its moral obligation to safeguard its financial wellness so it can continue to provide care in its community. For rural facilities that have a hard time retaining talent and an even harder time justifying large incentives, this feature can be a lifeline. 


Build a program that’s effective


It’s important for healthcare organizations to understand that they don’t have to choose between justifiable compensation and executive retention. Even though it’s financially sustainable, HEAP offers an appealing combination of short-term rewards that attract and long-term rewards that retain. Short-term rewards are effective at deflecting recruiting calls, which are to be expected in an environment of high executive turnover.


Avoiding disaster 


Long-term rewards are equally important because they can be tied to organizational goals, which means executives can be held accountable and rewarded for performance and loyalty. If Genesis HealthCare had tied their retention incentives to goals like quality of care and longevity, they might not have landed in the news. No matter what a compensation package looks like, poor care outcomes are sure to invite scrutiny. 


Learn More


With years of experience designing benefit and compensation programs for the healthcare community, MaxWorth can help your organization review its executive retention strategy. To learn more about our Healthcare Executive Advantage Plan, download our white paper or contact us today.



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