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Physician Retreats Bust 'Conspiracy of Silence'

Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media, October 3, 2013

Once they returned to their practices or the hospital, there were other more sobering realities waiting for them, like taking care of sick patients. But the Florida Hospital effort was a way of getting people together, and of emphasizing teamwork, for a group of medical providers who often rely too much on themselves, and don't reach out in a meaningful way, Paolini says.

Indeed, the alignment of physicians, as a team or especially with hospitals where they work or are employed, is challenging, and critical in healthcare, with the demands of evolving regulations, reimbursement cutbacks and the move toward value-based purchasing.

Months before the Florida doctors' long weekend camping trip, at a hotel in Nashville, TN, a separate group of hospital and healthcare executives got together at a HealthLeaders Media Roundtable  where the need for improved coordination among hospitals and physicians also came into focus. The panelists emphasized the importance of forming clinically integrated networks, with physician collaboration or involvement with hospital leadership essential.

"Whenever you are going into a clinically integrated network, that means partnership," said panelist Humayun Khan, MD, CMO for St. Joseph's Hospital and Sacred Heart Hospital, of the Hospital Sisters Health System in Western Wisconsin Division, in Eau Claire, WI. "Physician groups have typically been quite autonomous. Now to come into a partnership and try to meet certain goals is suffocating for many physician groups that we are dealing with."

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