As payment models evolve, reimbursement is squeezed, patients become more sophisticated, and expectations for alignment become the rule rather than the exception, health systems and physicians must continue to find ways to develop sustainable working relationships that provide a highly reliable basis for future growth. Whether your organization employs physicians, or has owned practices, independent physicians, or a mix of all, it is important to apply collaborative strategies in appropriate ways to advance and deepen these critical relationships. Relationships with aligned independent physicians and what they look for the health system to provide will be different from those with employed physicians. Moreover, the perceptions of employed and independent physicians regarding which side of the fence is greener will continue to evolve.
This monograph will focus on the Board’s role in plugging into how these processes are carried out within their organizations and on how the Board role is evolving. Among other things, we will address the characteristics of relationships among health care organizations and physicians that, if nurtured and respected, will enable the challenges of tomorrow to be more easily surmounted. Health care organizations should continually assess the physician relationship continuum—the ability to recruit, retain, and retire physicians— in a thoughtful, mutually beneficial, and collaborative manner that provides for effective on-boarding, retention, high-quality patient experiences and outcomes, clinical innovation, and transition of leadership.