Advanced Practice Provider Leadership Structures

The Evolution of a Well-Defined Advanced Practice Provider Leadership Structure


Featured in AAPL’s Physician Leadership Journal

Advanced practice provider leadership is critical to the optimization of the growing APP workforce.

COVID-19 has accelerated the financial and operational challenges facing the health care industry and organizations are reevaluating current processes and structures. As a result of this pandemic, some health systems and medical groups are planning for an increasingly uncertain future. These changes have also presented the opportunity to design more effective care delivery models, right-size cost structures, and streamline organizational processes to enhance financial sustainability going forward.

Prior to the pandemic, many hospitals and health systems had begun to prioritize the integration, optimization and engagement of their advanced practice provider (APP) workforce as a strategy to enhance organizational performance and support the transition to value-based care. In response to COVID-19, many organizations are utilizing their APPs to support operations. This has, in many cases, helped to accelerate the optimization of these clinicians.

As one of the fastest-growing workforces in health care, APPs constitute, on average, more than one-third of an organization’s clinical workforce. APP leaders are critical to the organization and optimization of this workforce. The presence of a well-defined advanced practice provider leadership structure can drive organizational performance and support a comprehensive APP workforce strategy – which can help to improve access, increase revenue and reduce costs. Understanding the evolution of APP leadership positions at the top, clinical, managerial and functional levels, along with their different roles and responsibilities, can serve as a roadmap for organizations as they continue to build out and develop their own APP structures and programs.

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