Governance of Physician Organizations: An Essential Step to Care Integration

The transformation of health care toward more integrated and accountable delivery systems has brought physician practices and other physician enterprises into health systems, as partners and collaborators, in unprecedented numbers. With this shift has come a need to rethink and engage the leaders of these medical enterprises in new roles, including their participation in physician organization governance.

This report shares findings from a study of governing physician organizations in developing systems of care. The study is among the first to explore this work from the perspective of physicians, who talk candidly about issues and challenges and provide insights about the evolution of physician involvement in governance and leadership at a historic moment of change in health care.

What you read here may surprise you. And, as they did for many who participated in this study, the findings shared in this report will confirm how willing and decisive leaders in today’s health care organizations are building a new system of care devoted to improving the health of those it serves. Their experiences provide lessons for leaders and board members in all health care organizations.

This study contributes to ongoing work by AHA’s Center for Healthcare Governance and Physician Leadership Forum to examine governance and leadership of health care organizations in transformative times. A high-level overview of this report appears in Report-At-A-Glance on page 8.

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