Council Connection: Physicians as Co-managers

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media , September 28, 2011
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James R. Gray, RN
Director of Quality, Landmark Hospital,
Athens, GA

If you don’t have good leadership that understands the model, then forget it; it’s not going to work. Some leaders still don’t understand the comanagement model, and they are trying to run it like they own everything—that there shouldn’t be any physician input.

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And physicians aren’t used to being managed that way, so they have to have a good feel for the management above them.

There is an inherent distrust. CV and orthopedics are the big service lines, but the other place comanagement would work is OB, particularly with its liability. If you can package a group of doctors and get a liability policy, you can save them money and provide them with office space and bundle the whole thing. General medicine is still going to balk at comanagement.

Hospitalists are hospitalists. That is a different ball game with those guys. Call, management of the process to get the patient admitted and out of there quickly, utilization of their supplies—that kind of thing—they are a tougher group to manage, per se. And they are so short in supply that it is difficult to recruit for that. Most of those guys are looking at quality of life plus bucks and that is a difficult group to recruit to and manage for that.

This article appears in the September 2011 issue of HealthLeaders magazine.

John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.

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