Real World Examples Show Successful Physician-Hospital Integration is Possible

At the Becker's Hospital Review Annual Meeting in Chicago on May 17, Peggy Naas, MD, MBA, vice president of physician strategies at VHA, and Lani Berman, MBA, vice president of performance services at VHA, presented "Exploring the Facts and Fantasies of Physician-Hospital Integration: Real World Examples of What Works, What Doesn't and Why."

In one example, a hospital system formed co-management and gainsharing partnerships with cardiac physicians in competing groups. They made a co-management agreement in 2005 and added a gainsharing program in 2007. In the co-management model, the health system and physicians established a heart and vascular board with four physicians, four health system members — including the CEO and COO — and a non-voting administrator. The partnership was focused on quality, engagement of physicians and investments in cardiovascular care.

The gainsharing model was based on supply cost reduction. Savings were shared by allocating 45 percent each to the physicians and health system and 10 percent for staff education. Over the past four years, the physicians and health system saved approximately $2.8 million. The success of the program relied on gaining the support of executives, collecting actionable data, negotiating contracts together and focusing on clinical quality. "[Executive support] was critical to getting the level of support needed to keep physicians engaged," Ms. Berman said.

More Articles on Physician-Hospital Alignment:

Key Strategies to Align Independent and Employed Physicians
6 Ways to Enhance Physician Communication, Alignment

20 Question Self-Assessment Tool to Gauge Hospital-Physician Alignment

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