A hospice medical director is a trained professional who supervises, directs and governs a hospice program, which includes home care, inpatient care and bereavement follow-up. The director oversees quality assurance, infection control policies and a healthy environment within the hospice. The position requires a bachelor’s degree in nursing and at least seven years of experience in the hospice field. The most effective directors are well versed in the field’s concepts and procedures and are strong leaders.
According to Salary Wizard, the median annual salary for a hospice medical director was $96,458 as of April 2011. The middle 50 percent of the profession earned between $87,189 and $108,290. The bottom 10 percent of hospice directors earned below $78,751 while the top 10 percent earned above $119,063.
Location can be a major factor in determining the earning potential of a hospice medical director. According to a report compiled by Salary Expert, of the 10 cities surveyed, the top two with the highest salaries for hospice medical directors were Boston, Massachusetts, and New York City at $143,999 and $138,473, respectively, as of April 2011. The bottom two cities of the 10 surveyed were Phoenix, Arizona, and Orlando, Florida, paying $96,198 and $107,074, respectively.
The position of hospice medical director compares favorably with related positions, reports Salary Wizard. The median national average for a hospice supervisor was $70,456 as of April 2011. A registered staff nurse at a hospice earned an annual base salary of $65,540. Adult day care directors earned $76,417 for a median national salary, while an activity director at a nursing home earned $34,865.
Hospice medical directors have favorable earnings when compared to other managers in the health service industry. The median annual wage of medical and health service managers was $80,240 as of May 2008, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The most lucrative positions for the profession were in the general medical and surgical hospital sector, paying an average of $87,040. Outpatient care center managers earned $74,130 while those working in physician offices earned $74,060. Health care managers who worked in home health services earned $71,450 and managers employed at nursing care facilities earned $71,190. Managers who worked in facilities with more physicians earned higher wages, reports the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In 2007, managers with six or fewer physicians earned $82,423; those with 7 to 25 earned $105,710; and those with 26 or more physicians earned $119,000.