In January 2016, Hospital 100, in collaboration with Kurt Salmon, asked CEOs, COOs and CFOs of hospitals and health systems across the nation to name their three top strategic initiatives as they adapt to today’s new paradigm of value-based care.

The No. 1 initiative cited related to physician alignment—regardless of whether the hospital was independent or part of a small system, a large system, or an integrated delivery network. Providers noted physician employment, governance, new-generation leadership, aligning incentives and sharing risk, and clinical value management issues.

Physician alignment is the precursor to clinical integration and, ultimately, to being accountable for the cost and quality of care for defined populations. Hospital executives have realized in recent years that this effort will take more than employment or enhanced communication. It demands alignment on clinical activity and the patient care approach, a correlation of physician and hospital financial returns, and commitment to a shared vision that incentivizes active involvement in the future of the organization. As this becomes a reality, providers can move into clinical value management (CVM) to effectively remove costs from care and improve outcomes.

Such alignment is crucial at every stage along the path to financially sustainable value-based reimbursement, as those farther along in the journey are realizing. As hospitals increasingly take on the care of defined populations, physicians’ role in payor contract negotiations will grow: It’ll be the clinicians who determine to what level costs can be managed down.

Close Seconds

While no other concern was as consistently ranked among care provider types as physician alignment, the next-highest concerns were fairly equally split: Patient engagement, quality initiatives, growth and data analytics all received priority levels of 4 or more on a scale of 5.

For more on what care providers see as the most important issues influencing hospitals and health systems, read the full survey results and Kurt Salmon’s analysis here.   

26 April 2016