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Physician Retreats Bust 'Conspiracy of Silence'

Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media, October 3, 2013

The Hospital Sisters Health System has a large, independent physician organization, Khan says, that is on a path of building a clinical integration network. "I think this strategy is going to (help) us, not only with the care provided within the community, but also when we go into contracts with third parties," Khan said.

Having an employment model was important toward developing a medical staff and ensuring significant savings, observed another panelist, Rand Wortman, President & CEO of the Kadlec Health System in Richland, WA. Still, six years after putting together a team of 100 employed physicians, "We're still struggling with how do you put it together? How do you build the culture?" Wortman asked.

Not only do physicians have responsibilities in developing a proper culture environment, but so do hospitals, Wortman said. "I'm adamant that my team has to deal with physicians with respect," Wortman said. "Frankly, not all hospital systems do. Part of it is consistency in how the administration behaves or the institution behaves." Of doctors, he said, "When you deceive them, they never forget."

Two other panelists addressed the need to develop physician leadership abilities, and the fact that doctors have to work more closely with hospital administrators.

Physicians will not only have to get along with one another and their superiors, but more likely there will be a need to have better frameworks of care with mid-level providers, to fill more gaps in the system. "So that is definitely an area that I think will continue to be a problem," said Jordan Asher, MD, CMO and CIO of MissionPoint Health Partners in Nashville.

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