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Why This Health Plan Is Funding Physician Leadership Training

By Christopher Cheney  
   April 26, 2018

A Los Angeles–based health plan seeks to improve the leadership skills of community clinic physicians to enhance quality of care and patient outcomes.

L.A. Health Plan, a publicly operated health plan that serves 2 million low-income patients in Los Angeles County, is providing leadership training for physicians to boost the quality of care at community clinics.

"The Physician Leadership Program participants are clinical leaders selected from the community clinics serving our members. We believe that investing in strong leadership in our community clinics is important to achieving the best service and outcomes for our members," says Richard Seidman, MD, MPH, who serves as CMO at L.A. Care Health Plan.

Return on investment

The total cost of providing and administering the Physician Leadership Program class is set at $149,500, and L.A. Care considers the expense to be money well spent. "Our goal is to improve [health] conditions throughout the county of Los Angeles," Seidman says.

L.A. Care is anticipating return on investment for the leadership course on several fronts.

"In theory, the clinical leadership in any of the clinic organizations in our network could generate return on investment through more effective leadership. With more effective leadership, it is more likely that a clinic can generate higher quality outcomes and reduce avoidable utilization, such as emergency room utilization, inpatient admissions, and readmissions," Seidman says.

Last year, L.A. Care organized its first Physician Leadership Program class, with 21 participants. The six-month program features five in-person seminars and five webinars. The curriculum covers topics such as:

  • Leadership style and serving underserved communities
  • Leading effective teams
  • Managing healthcare services and finances
  • Improving health center services
  • Change management

Christopher Cheney is the senior clinical care​ editor at HealthLeaders.

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