The power to negotiate
The nature of the hospital-physician relationship is in flux, prompted by changes in reimbursement. For Papoff and Vanguard, the answer is clinical integration: "One of the benefits of our clinically integrated program is that we can negotiate better contracts because we have a better product to sell. We are doing more direct contracting with payers now, because we can go to big purchasers of healthcare and demonstrate our quality data.
Everything is transparent and out on the table. We are able to negotiate better reimbursement rates, and physicians in our clinically integrated program have gotten bonus checks back at the end of the year for the last two years. That reinforces our belief that alignment works, and it works because it provides patients with higher quality of care, and you potentially can be compensated at a higher rate because of that."
Healthcare organizations are reconfirming their core staffing strategies and making adjustments. For those that have been holding back because of an environment of uncertainty, the good news is that there is less to be uncertain about. The bad news is that fence-sitters may be left behind. The industry is moving toward the value-based purchasing reimbursement model. Organizations have accepted that they are being asked to do more with less. Clinical teams, support staff, and executives are adjusting to new work rules.
This article appears in the September 2012 issue of HealthLeaders magazine.