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Leadership, Physician Alignment, and Service Line Success

Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media, March 13, 2012
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This article appears in the March 2012 issue of HealthLeaders magazine.

Healthcare leaders foresee dramatic growth in service lines but anticipate difficult obstacles in aligning with physicians as the healthcare industry moves to improve value.

Over the next two years, 75% of hospital and health system leaders say they plan to expand existing service lines, such as heart and oncology programs, and 50% say they will create new ones.

Lane Savitch, president of the Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland, WA, agrees that expansion is being strongly considered among healthcare leaders. "The rationale for doing so is clearly related to improving clinical performance," he says, "creating horizontal integration and alignment across the continuum of services related to the service line, between services and providers, as well as for revenue and market growth."

Leaders reveal that their top three service line challenges all involve physicians and finances. More than half (54%) say there is difficulty in attaining physician alignment with organizational goals, and another 8% say it is very difficult. Along those lines, 41% say it is difficult developing physician compensation plans, with another 13% saying it is very difficult. And 40% cite difficulty in acquiring strategic physician organizations, with another 12% saying it is very difficult.

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