Insights: Article

How Your Hospital Can Align With Physicians

By Ralph Llewellyn

February 06, 2018

There is no single formula for successful alignment between hospitals and physicians. Many hospitals and physicians approach a long-term relationship from a defensive or opportunistic approach, leaving numerous elements missing and true synergy elusive. Some hospitals fail to plan for the cultural impact of integrating physicians, as well as potential effects on internal department efficiencies.

It’s important to choose the right alignment structures and arrangements that work for your hospital.

Assess Previous Transitions
If you’ve been through a non-successful integration, it’s helpful to step back and assess what went wrong. Often, disappointing results can be attributed to a poorly designed compensation program, strict adherence to outdated approaches in managing people or not understanding the basics of physician practice management.

To aid in a successful integration, develop an environment of joint planning and decision making between your hospital and physicians. Design and implement educational programs to ease the cultural and emotional challenges of alignment.

Plan for a Smooth Transition
No matter how well you plan, sometimes employment arrangements do not always work out for the long-term. We recommend planning for such possible transitions and offering assistance to the departing physician. It can be scary for physicians to face having to set up their own practices with office site selection, staff recruitment, payer notifications and credentialing, and policies and procedures development.

Offering this as a “safety net” to a departing physician helps you maintain an ongoing working relationship, rather than ending in a difficult separation.

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