Board of directors compensation varies depending on the hospital size, location, and other factors such as the members' skills and experience.
A hospital board of directors plays a crucial role in keeping the hospital functioning. Since many hospitals operate as nonprofit organizations, compensation of hospital board members varies. Read on to learn more about if and how a hospital board of directors gets paid.
What Is a Hospital Board of Directors?
A hospital board of directors is a group of elected or appointed leaders that is responsible for overseeing and making decisions about how the hospital is run. Board duties include making sure the hospital is managed ethically and at its highest potential, strategic planning, producing financial reports, hiring and setting compensation for the CEO or executive director, and shaping the health care organization’s future. Common hospital board positions include:
- Chair: Works closely with the CEO or Dean of Medicine and often serves as a spokesperson. Handles communication between the board and the rest of the hospital staff.
- President: Collaborates with the chair to identify and work toward meeting annual objectives and strategic plans.
- Vice President: Assists the president with their duties and fills in when that person is unavailable.
- Secretary: A corporate board secretary keeps detailed meeting minutes and manages hospital records.
- Treasurer: Serves as the hospital’s primary financial advisor and is responsible for producing financial reports, overseeing the hospital’s accounting and financial records, and handling various types of correspondence between the hospital’s chief financial officer and the rest of the board.
- General counsel: If a hospital employs its own legal team, it is headed by the general counsel. This person oversees the hospital’s attorneys and handles correspondence between these attorneys and the board of directors. Although not every hospital board of directors has a general counsel, an in-house legal team helps avoid conflicts of interest and other legal risks.
Hospital Board of Directors Compensation
Although not a standard practice, many hospitals provide some form of financial compensation to the members of their board of directors as a token of appreciation for the extra time and effort they put into making the hospital the best it can be. If directors get paid, the amount they receive is a relatively small bonus compared to their regular salary as a hospital staff member. Many board members receive a nominal payment of under $5,000 per year for their services, while some leaders in larger hospitals may be paid an extra $10,000-$20,000 per year.
However, being paid is not a given, and many board of directors roles remain volunteer positions. Some hospitals may see paying their board as a conflict of interest, while others believe the best leaders are those who most desire to serve the hospital and are not necessarily seeking additional compensation. Others simply do not have the resources to increase the annual amount that they pay each board member.
Some of the most significant factors that play a role in determining whether the members of a particular hospital’s board of directors get paid include:
- Size of the hospital
- Relationship between the hospital and its board of directors
- Responsibilities and expectations of the board
- Skill set and other leadership experience that each member brings to the board
- Each board member’s role and experience as an employee of the hospital (if any)
- Whether the hospital is a nonprofit or for-profit organization
Improving Board Effectiveness
A hospital board of directors plays a vital role in supporting the level of care the hospital is able to deliver. Due to the impact of their decisions, it’s important to equip board members with tools to improve board effectiveness.
OnBoard’s web-based board portal is HIPAA and HRSA compliant, and purpose-built to improve health care board decision-making and create more effective meetings.
Getting Started With OnBoard
Determining whether to provide compensation for members of a hospital board of directors remains a judgment call for many hospitals, but is quickly becoming more common. To manage compensation, skills tracking, meetings, and more, the most proactive hospital boards invest in OnBoard board management software.
OnBoard is a comprehensive tool for facilitating nearly every aspect of your board’s day-to-day operations, including creating meeting agendas, managing tasks, organizing minutes, handling decision approvals, and providing a secure and transparent option for communication among board members. Our intuitive design, advanced meeting prep tools, and other features maximize boardwork and benefit hospitals.
For a comprehensive overview of the key features and benefits of board management software and tips for selecting the right solution for your hospital board, check out our free Board Management Software Buyer’s Guide.
Ready to supercharge your board’s effectiveness? Request your free trial of OnBoard today to get started.
About The Author
- Kelli Thomas is a customer success manager who joined OnBoard in 2022 and specialized in working with health care boards to meet their ever-changing needs. Her favorite part of the job is building relationships with clients, addressing their needs, and providing solutions. An Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis graduate, Kelli lives in Greenwood, Indiana, and enjoys spending time with her husband, son, and dog.