Case Study: Strategic Planning for a Rapidly-Growing Employed Physician Group

Background

The number of physicians employed by a 300+ bed hospital in the Midwest had grown from 30 to 120 over a three-year period.  While this growth was driven by a strategic initiative to increase alignment with the community physicians, the group that the physicians were put into lacked any formal infrastructure or identity.  As a result, the hospital had a large group of physicians that were essentially operating as independent practices – so much so that many physicians in the group didn’t know who the other physicians in the employed group were.

This situation left the client unable to leverage the group to achieve critical strategic alignment objectives, such as positioning the group to help the hospital respond to healthcare reform.

How HSG Helped

HSG facilitated a strategic planning process that focused solely on the employed physician group, with an initial emphasis on culture development and leadership structure.  After those initial steps, a group “vision” was developed and integrated into the planning process.  The physician group then identified five issues that needed to be addressed:

  • Development of an advisory board for clinical oversight, referral management and input into financial performance management
  • Development of a management infrastructure to streamline group practice operations
  • Common branding that tied to the hospital brand
  • Physician recruitment, with a focus on addressing the hospital’s strategic service line plans
  • Organizing the group’s clinical resources to tackle quality and cost-related issues within the hospital to position the organization for success under payment reform.

Results

As a result of HSG’s work, the physician group has a “vision” which guides its operations and is now able to build a common culture that defines what it means to be a physician in that group.  The group has organized a number of workgroups related to recruitment and quality, cost and service line growth initiatives.