Salary survey: LTC directors of information technology

Information technology is on its way to becoming the hottest topic in long-term and post-acute care—if it can just wrestle that label from our importunate friend “reimbursement cuts.”

Healthcare itself is in a transition period as efforts are being made to dismantle provider silos, employ interoperable electronic health records and capture clinical outcomes data, all for the sake of proving that quality care is indeed being delivered. And that’s just the care side of health IT; what about business intelligence, staffing software, data back-up, patient health information protection—a seemingly endless list of concerns?

This is why IT jobs have historically paid well. In healthcare, there’s an exceedingly large amount of sensitive information to manage, and not everyone has the aptitude to succeed. So it should then come as no surprise that in long-term and post-acute care, providers just can’t afford to pay top IT talent.

Hospital & Healthcare Compensation Service reports in its “Assisted Living Salary & Benefit Report 2011-2012” that the average salary for an assisted living Director of Information Services is $77,096. That number is the average for all facilities reported regardless of bed size and total annual revenue.

And there’s the issue: It’s really not necessary to break this out by bed size or revenue because there just aren’t enough people directing assisted living IT efforts.

“Assisted living facilities simply can’t all afford the position,” says Rosanne Zabka, director of reports at Hospital & Healthcare Compensation Service. “Even in nursing homes, it is not a common position in smaller facilities.

“Our 2011-2012 ‘Nursing Home Salary & Benefits Report’ had data on 235 Directors of Information Services, out of more than 2,200 participants. Many don’t need a full-time IT person, so they probably contract it out.”

The table below shows salaries at the 50th percentile of reporting for Directors of Information Services at nursing homes, CCRCs and assisted living facilities. The data for both nursing home and CCRC figures are based off reports published by Hospital & Healthcare Compensation Service in 2011.

Director of Information Services salary comparison
Nursing Home
Assisted Living
$79, 040

Contrast those numbers with the national average salary for all Health Information Services Directors, as reported by CareerBuilder: $100,405 at the 50th percentile.

"Assisted Living Salary & Benefit Report 2011-2012,” endorsed by LeadingAge and published in cooperation with the National Center for Assisted Living, is available for purchase here.

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