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Big salary gap between men, women in healthcare management, HIMSS survey finds

Men on average earned $126,262 in 2015, compared to $100,762 for women in the survey, according to the HIMSS Compensation Survey.

Susan Morse, Managing Editor

The average salary for healthcare workers in executive, management and other professional positions topped $111,000 in 2015, according to the recently released 2015 HIMSS Compensation Survey by the nonprofit Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, though there is a close to $30,000 gap between what men and women earn in the field.

Men, on average, earn $126,262, compared to $100,762 for women, in the survey of 1,900 healthcare professionals that includes CEOs, CIOs, IT project managers, sales professionals and those with clinical titles such as CMIO and Clinical Systems Analyst.

[Also: Healthcare executive compensation up 8 percent in 2014, study finds]

Those working for hospitals that are part of a multihospital system reported the lowest average salary at $99,305, while those employed by consulting firms reported the highest average earnings of $140,971.

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The bigger the organization, the higher the salary, the HIMSS survey found, until net revenue reached $1 billion or more. At that point salaries leveled off.

Salaries increases also flatlined after 20 years of service, the survey found, increasing every four years until that mark. Workers with 20 years on the job earned an average of $115,864.

Not surprisingly, those in executive management positions saw the highest average salary of $196,472; followed by senior management at $163,217; department heads at $132,089; managers at $104,897; staff at $86,294 and associate staff, at $69,104.

[Also: Physician pay higher in 2014, though women earn less; ACO involvement up, survey says]

The survey found higher salaries in the Pacific Northwest -- an area that includes California, Washington and Oregon, as well as Hawaii and Alaska -- than in other parts of the country. Respondents from that region reported an average salary of $127,117.

Those in the West-South-Central area of the country reported having the lowest average salary of $101,281, according to the HIMSS survey. The region includes Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas.

Of all sectors, government employees are the lowest paid compared to employees in the for-profit and nonprofit sectors. The average salary of a government worker is $100,645. Employees of for-profit private organizations report the highest average salaries of $116,726, followed by for-profit public companies at $114,878 and nonprofit companies at $110,255.

Slightly less than half of respondents, about 47 percent, received a bonus in the past year. The median bonus was 5 to 6 percent of salary. About 12 percent said their bonus was greater than 10 percent of their salary; and 17 percent said it was 2 percent of salary or less.

Meanwhile, 77 percent of respondents reported receiving a raise as of June 1, 2015. The average raise was 3.91 percent.

Close to 100 percent of those surveyed receive benefits, with the most frequently identified being medical, dental, paid time off and a 401k or 403b retirement plan.

Only 9.3 percent said they had access to a profit sharing pension plan, and 5.3 percent said they had a money purchase plan.

Close to two-thirds of respondents work for a nonprofit organization; one-third report working for a hospital that is part of a multihospital system; and another 21 percent said their primary worksite was the corporate office of a healthcare organization.

About 20 percent work for organizations that have an annual net revenue of $1 billion or greater.

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The average salary for those working for an organization with a net revenue of $500 to $999 million is $142,950, the highest reported, followed by those working for an organization with a net revenue of $1 billion or more, at $134,200; those working for organizations having net revenue of $100 to $499 million, at $133,344; and those working for organizations earning $50 to $99 million, at $126,254.

An interesting trend is that the downward progression of an organization's net revenue didn't always align with salaries. For instance, employees working for an organization with net revenue of under $5 million had an average salary of $144,168, compared to those working for an organization with net revenue of $5 to $9 million who earned an average of $107,624. Those at organizations with a net revenue of $10 to $29 million earned an average of $116,010, compared to those working for organizations with net revenue of $30 to $49 million, who earned $109,943.

HIMSS owns HIMSS Media, the parent of Healthcare Finance News.

Twitter: @SusanJMorse