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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

5 Key Areas of Focus when Assessing Physician Need and Alignment Strategies

What health system doesn’t have physician recruitment, integration and alignment at the top of their strategic priorities? Market competition, pipeline shortages, failing practice economics and a growing recognition that they can’t achieve quality and financial goals without physicians at the table, have organizations jockeying to win the race for physician integration and commitment.

A well-planned approach requires superb strategic thinking about possible, probable and preferred futures, and a well-crafted plan to bring vision into reality. The process will be better informed through an analysis about the current state of physicians in the marketplace and how that is likely to change in the future.

However, data is just data unless you use it strategically. 5Rs provides a framework and methodology in which to discover and calculate opportunities:

  1. Recruitment — Recruitment strategies address physician shortages when both strategic and community assessments indicate a need for physicians in a particular specialty
  2. Retention — Top producing physicians are candidates for retention strategies based upon historic commitment of activity to the hospital for inpatient and outpatient service volumes
  3. Redirection — Physician candidates for redirection strategies are typically those aligned with competitor hospitals.
  4. Redeployment — The goal is to increase practice volumes through better geographic location of the practice or through the presence of multiple practice sites
  5. Retirement — Transition planning should be considered for top producing physicians over the age of 55.

Insights from this analysis will launch health systems out of the starting gate and into the field by producing a focused set of tactics to support the overall physician engagement strategy.

Karen Corrigan

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