CEO Exchange: Physician Leadership Seen as Crucial

, November 8, 2013

Acknowledging the monumental changes before them, chief executive officers attending HealthLeaders Media's second annual CEO Exchange are in agreement about one aspect of the way forward: strong leadership by physicians will be a key success factor.


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>>>SLIDESHOW: HealthLeaders Media CEO Exchange

Strong physician leadership is critical to aligning the goals of medical groups and hospitals and to redefining the way their organizations deliver healthcare, say chief executive officers from some of the most innovative health systems and hospitals around the country.

In roundtable discussions Thursday at HealthLeaders Media's second annual CEO Exchange, attendees discussed a range of topics and trends, including new cost reduction strategies, changing reimbursement models, and the clinical shift from a volume to a value-based business model. The three-day event at the Boca Beach Club in Boca Raton, FL, was attended by nearly 40 CEOs.

"We've declared that clinical integration requires physician leadership and clinician leadership so we've defined a dyad at the executive level consisting of a chief clinical officer and a chief operating officer," said Britt Berrett, president of Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, adding that his organization is moving toward a model where 65% of its executive leadership will be clinicians.

"Non-clinically-trained leaders will have a much smaller place at the table," he added.

Patrick Cawley, MD, CEO of Medical University of South Carolina Medical Center in Charleston, said his organization's Clinical Leadership Council is designed to bring together physician leaders who slowly but surely are beginning to see beyond the interest of their groups to understand the big picture of what is best for the organization as a whole.

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