Shaping the Future
Physician hospital integration
Changing care delivery and reimbursement models demand that all parts of a health systems align their goals and bear financial risk collectively to thrive. This market movement, along with regulatory pressures, is resulting in increasingly innovative collaborations between hospitals and physicians.
The goals of many collaboration models are to shore up care processes to avoid penalties, enhance clinical integration, and align incentives that drive health status improvements and bend the cost curve. However, in many cases “collaboration” has equaled “consolidation” as hospitals and health systems have acquired physician practices at a virtually unprecedented pace for a variety of reasons including offensive and defensive market share plays. Leadership focus is being drawn to the significant operational losses that many of these delivery systems are now facing within their physician enterprises. In order to refocus their strategic attention on care delivery models and incentive systems that favor population-based “accountable care,” it is imperative that hospitals and their employed physicians work together in order to “first stop the bleeding.”
To “stop the bleeding” (physician practice losses), health systems should engage stakeholders across the consolidated entity (hospital, physician, ancillary, etc.) to evaluate “smart first steps” within the four dimensions of Physician Alignment: leadership, clinical services, operations, and finance. These smart first steps should be focused on near-term tactical and strategic considerations.
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