What CFOs at the Executive Summit are saying about physician alignment
Once upon a time, hospitals thought of physicians as loyal customers. Now they're watching those customers set up shop across the street. How can you keep your doctors from becoming your competitors?
Talk their language
It's important to have some type of formal education about physician issues - referrals, competition, integration, standardization -- at every board meeting.
You really cannot over-communicate with your physicians. They should have a direct line at all times to the CEO and other members of the senior leadership team.
You want a well-respected member of the medical staff, somebody who is actually carrying a black bag down in the trenches, as your liaison on key issues like utilization and quality - not the typical vice president of medical affairs but someone who will go out there and really try to influence behavior.
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Meet their needs
We've taken data integration and transparency one step further so that the entire community health network uses one EMR, which we support out of our data center.
The biggest reason for the increase in employed physicians is lifestyle - the young docs coming out of medical school want 9-5 jobs.
We need to open up the hospitals and let physicians have a place at the table when it comes to deciding how medical capital is going to be spent. If you have 7 votes in the strategic planning process, let them have 2 or 3.
Make it worth their while
It's important for the hospitals to give up control and let the physicians have the majority ownership in joint ventures.
Hospitals are doing a lot of different things to attract primary care physicians -- reimbursement of medical loans, forgiveness of loans, living stipends for residents who commit to three to five years in the community, and referral loans for physicians who bring a colleague on board for a year.
Check out the new Physician Alignment Forum
The Physician Alignment group will provide information on engaging with physicians to serve both business and patient care goals. Look for specific tools to assess different models of engagement (from physician committees to employment to joint ventures), align incentives, navigate regulatory issues, and collaborate on efficiency and quality improvement. The group will also provide tools on key success factors, including communication strategies and leadership tactics to more effectively deliver a message that engages physicians and drives action. Register for the Physician Alignment Forum now.
Publication Date: Thursday, March 27, 2008