Don't Expect Physicians to Lead Change

Philip Betbeze, for HealthLeaders Media , October 4, 2013

But those organizations commit significant institutional resources for physician leadership training, making their creation a board-level decision.

"Hospital CEOs don't want to do this," says Nash. "Boards have to do it. I counsel them that it's their fiduciary responsibility to demand the commitment of resources to physician leadership training."

Nash says CEOs are understandably reluctant to pay to train leaders from the physician ranks when they reason that the physicians may at some point use that training to compete against the hospital or health system.

"I don't subscribe to that worldview, but I understand its appeal," Nash says. "But I could make a strong economic argument to the cost of free training if you believe health reform means we're headed to bigger systems that are risk-bearing, integrated across sectors, boast seamless coordination, and that there are leadership challenges to implement the new measures coming our way."

He says healthcare will require a small army or leadership-trained physicians to run the core components of health reform from ambulatory quality to patient-centered medical homes. After all, your hospital or health system's PQRS [Physician Quality Reporting System] score is going to be online in 2015, so the hospital error rate will be researchable, he says.

"Who's running that store?"

Philip Betbeze is senior leadership editor with HealthLeaders Media.
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