Physician Representation on Health System Boards: 17 Findings

How involved are physicians when it comes to health system governance?

A survey form the Governance Institute delved into the governance practices of nonprofit health systems, finding most systems have not altered their board composition in response to more employed physicians.

Here are some key findings from the survey relating to physician representation on boards.

If you employ physicians in your organization, have there been any changes in governance structure since you began employing them?
(Based on 62 respondents)
• Physician representation on the board is now entirely made up of employed physicians — 1.6 percent
• There has been a positive correlation (or, the number of employed physicians on the board corresponds with the percentage of employed physicians on the medical staff) — 3.2 percent
• There has been no change in board membership — 54.8 percent
• We do not allow employed physicians to serve on the board — 11.3 percent
• We do not distinguish between employed vs. non-employed physicians when selecting board members — 16.1 percent
• We do not employ physicians — 8.1 percent
• Other — 4.8 percent

How does the CMO or vice president of medical affairs participate on the board?
(Based on 55 respondents)
• Board member and voting member — 3.6 percent
• Board member but not a voting member — 0 percent
• Non-board member but regularly attends meetings — 81.8 percent
• Non-board member and does not attend meetings — 14.5 percent

Out of 62 responding organizations, 14.4 percent had a CEO with a physician background while 71 percent had CEOs with finance or business backgrounds.

Out of 61 responding organizations, 6.6 percent had a board chairperson with a physician background while 72 percent had chairpersons with finance or business backgrounds.

Out of the six responding organizations that had physician relations committees — 11.3 percent of the survey pool — roughly a third of them met monthly. Half met as needed.

More Articles on Health System Boards:
30 Survey Findings on Nonprofit Health System Boards
Is it Time to Pay Hospital Board Members?
What Does Governance Look Like in the Country's Largest Health Systems? 8 Major Findings

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