A common question being raised by many of our clients working with us on
their current projects is: How can we create strong physician integration
with our hospital, health systems, service lines, or clinics? These varied
providers we are advising all see that the degree of integration with
their physicians will parallel significantly the degree of success they
can achieve both presently and into the future. They fully understand
and agree with a recently published statement by Jay Herron, one of our
partners, when he wrote: “Health care organizations and doctors
who can envision the future and then develop together a framework that
can succeed will be fine. But those who continue to protect the current
model, based significantly on competition rather than collaboration, will
So to answer this critical integration question numerous article and books
have been written articulating the best methods to achieve a successful
partnership with the physicians. These have included most often physician
acquisition strategies and physician employment models. But for each strategy
recommended there are many examples of failures, often significant enough
to put the combined enterprise at significant risk of failure. Why? Because
we have found that many of these physician merger strategies have been
like a “shotgun marriage”, where neither party really wants
to be in the relationship, but both agree it is the best situation for
the time being.
It is clear, then, that the past practices of the healthcare industry have
often failed in establishing successful and sustainable integration with
physicians based on a shared mission and vision and supported by a strong
culture of trust. Hence, our past failures must be utilized as learning
opportunities, helping to answer the “how” of the integration
question with clearly articulated strategies and tactics which will prove
successful in meeting the ever increasingly complex challenges that must
be addressed in the healthcare industry. In order to get to the “answer”,
Royer-Maddox-Herron Advisors has prepared a 4 part Blog Series to include
the following topics:
1. Why is physician integration so critical for present and future success?
2. Why is successful physician integration so hard to achieve?
3. What are the key strategies to achieve successful physician integration?
4. How do physicians acquire the necessary leadership competencies to embrace
Hopefully the knowledge and wisdom we will be sharing in this series, gained
in part from our leadership roles in large group practices like Geisinger
and Henry Ford, and in large and small hospitals and health systems, including
academic, urban, and rural, will assist you and your teams in better understanding
the roadmap worth following to assure both sustainability and growth,
rather than possible termination.