Physician Engagement is the Leading Pain-Point for Healthcare Organizations, New Report Reveals

Press Releases, September 2, 2013

HealthLeaders Media, a division of HCPro, in collaboration with MedSynergies, launched an independent survey of healthcare executives to explore the most prevalent and effective staffing strategies for supporting physician alignment. The data was compiled in a comprehensive report “Physician Alignment in the New Shared Risk Environment,” available for complimentary download at healthleadersmedia.com/intelligence.


This publication comes on the heels of a critical shift in the physician compensation model from fee-for-service to pay for performance, driven by new policies like the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The research reveals how the shift has impacted health systems and their physicians, and how they are using collaboration and productivity measures to ensure future quality and efficiency.


“What we have learned in our business is that finding the right compensation model is important to building strong physician relationships, but it’s only a starting point,” says MedSynergies CEO J.R. Thomas. “True alignment requires an enhanced focus on engaging physicians. This year’s survey clearly shows that the No. 1 motivator behind creating these strategic relationships is to get physician buy-in to quality and safety initiatives.”


The report also questions whether hospitalists, medical staff assignments, and paid directorships are facing extinction as classic staffing models dwindle under increasing clinical integration, clinical comanagement, and joint ventures. Based on survey results, clinical comanagement agreements stand at 15% now, and respondents say that will increase to 30% in the three-year time frame.


“If we can prove that we’ve providing pretty good access, whether through employment or partnerships, I’m not really wedded to a given model per se,”  says Scott Nygaard, MD, chief medical officer for physician services at Lee Memorial Health System in Fort Myers, Fla.

T. Clifford Deveny, MD, senior vice president for Physician Services and Clinical Integration at Catholic Health Initiatives in Englewood, Colo. reiterates this imperative, “The bottom line is that people do see physician engagement as being important. And they don’t see employment as a be-all, end-all. Survey results confirm that there is still a lot of diversity of thought, and not everybody’s betting the farm on one model.”

Other key findings include:

  • 42% of respondents have difficulty with physician engagement, more than any other factor.
  • 73% of respondents say that buy-in to quality and safety initiatives is among their top three objectives behind physician alignment strategies.
  • 62% of respondents say that the desire for stable income in the top motivator for physicians seeking employment.
  • In spite of recent attention to adding employed physicians, relationships with independents appear strong. While the percentage of independents is declining, they are still expected to be in the majority (56%) compared to employed physicians (44%) in three years.

In addition to the complimentary report, two extended versions are available for purchase, containing in-depth analysis and additional features: the Premium version, which may be purchased at (INSERT URL HERE), includes case studies from Catholic Health Initiatives, Lee Memorial Health System, and Methodist Health System, lets readers segment data according to their needs, and provides recommendations and discussion questions for healthcare leadership teams; and the Buying Power version, which is available for purchase at (INSERT URL HERE), is designed for healthcare industry suppliers and includes detailed drill-down data on purchasing trends and projections to aid sales strategies.

HealthLeaders Media

HealthLeaders Media, a division of HCPro, Inc., is a leading multi-platform media company dedicated to meeting the business information needs of healthcare executives and professionals. As an integrated media company, HealthLeaders Media includes HealthLeaders magazine, HealthLeadersMedia.com, the HealthLeaders Media Intelligence Unit, HealthLeaders Media Rounds events, HealthLeaders Media Breakthroughs reports, and California HealthFax. All these platforms may be found online at www.healthleadersmedia.com.