Regional and community-based health systems are acquiring physician practices at an increasingly rapid rate as they aim to increase market share and geographical footprint, improve patient experience across the continuum of care, reduce costs and variation in practice, and achieve better population health outcomes.
As the size and medical breadth of health systems expand, it becomes increasingly apparent to executive leadership that changes to the organizational structure are necessary to foster integration across services. Often service line structures, with physician and administrative leadership, are designed to help drive accountability across modalities, services, and traditionally siloed department structures.
As service lines are being implemented, health systems are simultaneously growing their employed medical groups and ambulatory footprint. The operations, strategies, and spans of control of service lines and medical groups overlap; if roles and responsibilities are not clearly defined and globally supported, the health system can face confusion, conflict, and ultimately, a deterrent to providing world-class patient care.
In the first of two discussions, Jessica Turgon, Principal and co-leader of the Operations Improvement and Technology Division at ECG Management Consultants, and Whitney Haller, Senior Manager at ECG and subject matter expert in service line strategy and operations, delve into the ways that service lines and employed medical groups can live symbiotically within an organizational ecosystem. In a follow-up post, they will look more closely at how the groups can partner as change agents to drive a value-based care strategy, align to achieve KPIs, and reduce physician burnout.