Case Study | Partnerships and Value

Case Study Evolution of a Medical Group

Case Study | Partnerships and Value

Case Study Evolution of a Medical Group

WellSpan Health, a $2 billion integrated, physician led health system headquartered in York, Pa., uses a variety of organizational structures to solve the “participatory governance challenge” for their employed physicians. WellSpan’s genesis as an integrated delivery system began in 1993 when a

WellSpan Health, a $2 billion integrated, physician-led health system headquartered in York, Pa., uses a variety of organizational structures to solve the “participatory governance challenge” for their employed physicians. WellSpan’s genesis as an integrated delivery system began in 1993 when a founding group of physicians came to the health system suggesting that a medical group be organized as part of an effort to build an integrated hospital-physician delivery system. At the time, there were still a number of hospitalists and emergency department physicians employed directly by the hospital, and the standard practice of the day would have been to have the system’s hospitals simply add the physicians to their staffs. The founding physicians, however, insisted that a separate medical group be formed under WellSpan’s corporate umbrella, because they did not want to work directly for the hospitals.

Now, some 25 years later, all employed physicians are part of the medical group, which comprises more than half of WellSpan Health’s overall clinical staff of nearly 1,300 physicians. The remaining medical staff is in independent community practice. The medical group’s president is a senior vice president of the health system, reporting to the executive vice president of clinical practice, who also is a physician. And there is a chief medical officer—also a health system vice president—who reports to the medical group’s president.

The medical group and the various clinical service lines are organized as a separate division on a par with the hospital divisions. The WellSpan Medical Group board is split roughly 50-50 between administration and physicians, with a few lay community leaders. The chairman of the medical group board is always a physician, which is seen as an important “symbolic” appointment, so physicians will never feel they are being bossed by nonphysicians. WellSpan Health’s president and CEO also is a physician, as are the executive vice president of clinical services and many of the various service-line executives reporting to him who are responsible for clinical services across the six hospitals, ambulatory and retail services, and post-acute care divisions.

Sign up for a free guest account and get access to five free articles every month.

Advertisements

Related Articles | Partnerships and Value

Column | Cost Effectiveness of Health

U.S. healthcare system is poised to begin a new phase in partnerships

Healthcare provider organizations should prepare for an emerging new phase in the evolution of healthcare partnerships, characterized by an increasingly diverse array of choices among care sites and settings for consumers, health plans and employers. In responding to the opportunities presented in this new partnership phase, providers should adopt a strategy that applies important lessons learned during the pandemic.

Sponsored Content | Partnerships and Value

Payvider Survey Summary Report

How To | Cost Effectiveness of Health

6 ways to ease physicians’ burden from coding, documentation and risk adjustment

The COVID-19 pandemic has heightened the need for U.S. health systems to gain physician cooperation in documenting and coding patient risk. Yet these organizations also should be mindful of the administrative burden many physicians feel from having to perform these processes, which has contributed to feelings of burnout among them. This article describes six steps hospitals and health systems can take to help ease the administrative burden for physicians, which is necessary to ensure the future quality and effectiveness of the nation’s healthcare system.

Q&A | Cost Effectiveness of Health

How a health plan is taking primary care to seniors in their homes

Two healthcare leaders describe a new model of geriatric care being developed in Southern California and the Southwest, designed to deliver a full range of primary care services to seniors in their homes. This model may set the stage for the emergence and adoption of this innovative approach to in-home healthcare nationwide. The model is a practical response to a proven demand among seniors for such an approach.