Healthcare Leadership
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Healthcare Leadership Implications of the Growing Role of Employed Physician Networks

During the past decade, healthcare leadership has been challenged to navigate constant systemic changes to our healthcare system. Knowing which direction to focus and what to measure has become a moving target. Healthcare leadership should focus on developing a strong physician network to be able to anticipate these changes. This task has practical implications on how your healthcare organization operates as well as the key performance indicators (KPIs) used to measure success. See HSG’s summary of KPI’s health systems should be measuring in today’s environment.  

In order to have success on these KPIs, accountabilities for health system leadership team members must consider the implications of the following:

Clinical Decision Making

Clinical processes which determine outcomes will be the driver of the work-life of your clinical leader. Reducing variation, eliminating waste and redundancies, and building data and clinical decision tools to drive decisions will be their primary focus. Responsibility for building systems to support these initiatives will be a CEO focus.

Physician Culture

Building a culture that engages physicians and reinforces their crucial role will command the CEO’s attention. This effort is essential in a market with increased accountability.   

Patient Experience

Organizations that make patient access clear, easy, and convenient will be rewarded. This may involve a significant shift from being provider-centric to being patient-centric in all care delivery settings.  

Financial Management

Today’s world of cost centers and revenue centers will be slowly turned upside down as the market evolves.  Physician practices will grow in importance as they perform as revenue centers and entry portals, especially as reimbursement transitions to risk models.  Physician and executive understanding of capitation and other risk models will require CEO attention.    

Refocusing Staff Functions

Functions such as HR, IT, marketing, and accounting often have a distinctly hospital focus, with the employed networks as an appendage.  That viewpoint must change. You will need to recruit leaders for those functions who have a broader perspective and can develop corresponding support structures that are more responsive to the needs of the physician enterprise.  

Payer Relations

As your health system develops greater capabilities in managing the care continuum, you will also want to establish different relationships with payers.  Having an executive with the expertise to work with insurers to define mutually beneficial relationships based on outcomes will be crucial to reaping the financial rewards from your expanding care management capabilities.

To learn more about the growing significance of employed physician networks and its impact on healthcare leadership, specifically the CEO role, review HSG’s recent whitepaper Building Your Employed Physician Network: A CEO’s Guide to Developing Physician Capabilities for the Future.  

David W. Miller

Founder and Chairman