Accelerating Progress in Your Physician Network
Spurred by the need for better integration, and the need to protect volumes, billions have been invested by hospitals and health systems in physician practices. HSG’s focus is on helping produce value from those investments by evolving your physician network.
HSG’s Physician Network Growth Phases Curve defines the stages of your network’s evolutionary progress. As your network transitions from novice all the way to high-performing, there are many complex challenges that must be addressed. Between those phases, networks progress through:
- A growth phase where physicians are added, outstripping the network’s management capabilities – leading to the third phase – operational chaos.
- Operational chaos: Many organizations find themselves at this stage, with a major focus on improving and gaining control of the network’s operations.
- Eventually, executives and physicians agree the network must be strategically focused to produce long-term value. Building and implementing a focused plan that supports the organization’s strategy becomes a priority.
- Inevitably, the strategic focus phase leads to discussions about how the group will support value-based care initiatives, the fifth phase.
Long term, networks must reliably manage costs and quality. If your group can do that, you have a high-performing network.
At HSG, we work to improve network performance and increase the network’s strategic value by driving toward high performance.
We bring expertise and experience in three major areas that will help you build a high-performing network: physician strategy, physician network optimization, and value-based care.
The foundation of your network is strategy. HSG will work with your team to define the network’s strategic vision and priorities, and systematically address them. Those priorities could include building physician leadership, development of a long-term plan to align physicians, geographic growth, changing care models, improving data analytics, or any number of initiatives that will position the network to produce value and align with the system’s strategy.
The second strength we provide is network optimization, with a focus on operations. Issues such as recruitment and development of a management team, revenue cycle, patient access, patient experience, staff development or other initiatives to improve operations are generally the focus of these efforts.
The third capability we offer relates to value-based purchasing. Our focus is on building the capabilities needed to manage risk and reimbursement incentives. This includes initiatives such as bundled pricing, managing MACRA/MIPS criteria, building ACOs or direct contracting with employers.
Where to Begin?
For novice organizations, we recommend starting with a focus on physician alignment strategy and putting the right executives in place.
As you move to the growth mode, it’s critical to bring leadership and physicians together to define your shared vision and then work with physicians to develop culture. Implicit in this process is the awareness that physician leadership development becomes a key issue.
As organizations grow, they generally find themselves in operational chaos, although building the management infrastructure will help tamp down the level of chaos. At this point, focusing on performance improvement is critical, with a secondary focus on the strategic plan of the group.
As you focus strategically, the obvious priority is the implementation of strategic initiatives. We often see networks focus on referral capture/network integrity, quality improvement across the continuum of care, and other issues like MACRA.
In the value phase, HSG recommends organizations put their toe in the water and begin to take financial risk. Stepping up efforts on clinical quality improvement are also important.
A high-performing group can reliably produce predictable outcomes and costs. There will always be work in this phase to optimize and fine-tune performance. The chart above outlines some of the key considerations at each step along the way.
We hope this helps you understand where you should focus to increase the value of your group. If you wish to discuss how HSG works with clients to give them confidence that their physician network is evolving to meet the market’s requirement, contact David Miller, Managing Partner, at 502-814-1188 or dmiller@HSGadvisors.com.