Turnover in the behavioral health space appears to have remained stable in 2022.
That’s at least according to the 2023 Behavioral Health Salary & Benefits Report, released annually by the Hospital & Healthcare Compensation Service (HCS). This year’s report pulled from a survey of 462 behavioral health facilities, which collectively offered data on nearly 31,4000 employees.
Specifically, a little more than 1-in-10 survey respondents said turnover in the behavioral health industry was getting worse. Just over half of the respondents said that turnover had remained the same, while roughly one-third said it had actually improved.
In some ways, the findings are surprising, as most behavioral health operators have discussed being capacity-constrained due to staffing shortages. Pandemic-related wage inflation has contributed to the problem, with many in the field able to find comparable or better pay elsewhere.
Wage inflation and an exodus of behavioral health professionals has been a notable problem in the autism therapy space, in particular.
Turnover across all positions stood at about 27% in 2022, according to the HCS report. The overall vacancy rate was 14%.
Administrative-support positions experienced the most turnover last year, followed by medical assistants, RNs and LPNs, respectively. The highest vacancy rates were for clinician positions, with many case-manager positions also remaining vacant.
Compensation and sign-on bonuses
The HCS report also takes a look at how much — and for what positions — behavioral health organizations are willing to pay sign-on bonuses.
Overall, about 30% of survey respondents said they offer sign-on bonuses. However, only 22% of all respondents disclosed specifics in the survey.
Of the positions that were offered sign-on bonuses, registered nurses were more likely to be offered one, while top-level executives were the least likely. On average, psychiatrists received the highest bonuses, at about $9,700.
Beyond sign-on bonuses, the report also offered a glimpse of how compensation changed in the past year. Overall, compensation increased just less than 4% for selected roles.
Nationally, mental health workers/medical assistants saw an average 3.89% increase to their compensation year over year. For the same period, top-level executives saw their compensation increase by an average of 3.74%, while clinicians saw a 3.75% increase.