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National Report: Vermont Had Highest Rate Of Hospital CEO Turnover In 2018

The exterior of Porter Medical Center in Middlebury
Melody Bodette
VPR File
Porter Medical Center in Middlebury was one of the Vermont hospitals that changed CEOs over the past few years.

Vermont had the highest turnover rate among hospital CEOs in 2018, according to a new report from The American College of Healthcare Executives.The national membership organization does an annual survey of the turnover among hospital CEOs across the country. Among the nation’s 4,465 hospitals, about 18% of the top executives left their health care organization in 2018.

In Vermont the turnover rate was 36 percent — double the national average.

“The high number is concerning," said Jeff Tieman, president of the Vermont Association of Hospitals and Health Systems.  "We want to do everything we can to keep good talent in the state."

The turnover among executives in 2018 comes as more than half the hospitals in Vermont showed declining margins, according to a recent Green Mountain Care Board analysis.

And Tieman said he hopes the trend doesn't continue.

“We have workforce challenges that stretch all across these organizations and it’s important to have continuity," he said. "But I actually don’t anticipate significant movement in the coming year or two. So hopefully it’s not the beginning of a bigger trend."

Springfield, Copley and Grace Cottage hospitals, as well as Porter Medical Center, are among those that missed their revenue targets in 2018 — and each of those hospitals had their CEO resign in recent years.

There were also leadership changes at Rutland Regional, Northeastern Vermont Regional, Mount Ascutney, and at North Country Hospital.

While Vermont was the state with the highest turnover rate in the ACHE report, another New England state was also toward the top; Massachusetts ranked third nationally, with a 26% CEO turnover rate.

The report found Connecticut's CEO turnover rate was 22% and Rhode Island's was 20%, while Maine and New Hampshire had two of the lower CEO turnover rates: 13% and 8%, respectively.

This is the fifth year in a row that the ACHE report found the national rate of turnover for hospital CEOs was 18%.

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