Modern Healthcare | Physician Compensation Plateaus During Pandemic

Protecting physician compensation during the COVID-19 pandemic

While many health care organizations continue to undergo post-pandemic financial and operational recovery planning, maintaining the broader workforce remains a top priority. Although physician compensation may have been expected to drop over the course of the last year due to a major decline in patient volumes and the cancellation of elective procedures during the shutdown, the majority of hospitals and health systems implemented to protect physician compensation to some degree.

Featured in a July 2021 edition of Modern Healthcare, SullivanCotter helps to evaluate how compensation evolved during the COVID-19 pandemic, which pay actions organizations implemented in response, and how to move forward with evaluating pay programs for 2021 and beyond. Organizations will now need reassess physician pay models in light of recent events to help maintain operations and support future sustainability while paying close attention to newly-released 2021 benchmarks and effectively adjusting for months most affected by the pandemic.

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Clinical Workforce Technology Solutions | Webinar Series

To help health care organizations address increasingly dynamic clinical workforce requirements, SullivanCotter continues to strengthen our innovative suite of technology, survey and data products.

Join us as we feature some of our newest product enhancements and demonstrate how you can leverage data-driven insights to identify physician market demand, interactively analyze workforce benchmarks, administer compensation and performance management programs, and automate the physician contract lifecycle to better support your care team and population health initiatives.

As we continue to refine our product roadmap, we’d love the opportunity to hear your feedback on various features and functionality, proposed enhancements, and key clinical workforce challenges that your organization is facing.


Session 1: Benchmarks360™

Tuesday, July 27 | 12:00pm-12:45pm CT

Powered by SullivanCotter’s proprietary survey data and research, Benchmarks360™ is a suite of intelligent, web-based products that enables health care organizations to analyze and visualize compensation, clinical productivity, and workforce perceptions.

What's New?

    • Complimentary access to survey participants
    • APP Utilization and Perceptions Manager module
    • Pay Practices Manager module
    • Standard, Plus and Pro versions now available for the Workforce Compensation and Clinical Productivity Manager module

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SESSION 2: Physician Needs Assessment

Tuesday, August 3 | 12:00pm-12:45pm CT

SullivanCotter’s Physician Needs Assessment is an interactive cloud-based application that delivers accurate and actionable data-driven insights to help organizations identify, monitor and respond to changing service needs and physician and advanced practice provider staffing requirements in the communities they serve.

What's New?

  • Market-specific assessment to provide accurate and detailed reporting of physician supply and demand
  • Interactive mapping tool with the ability to select specific zip codes for strategic consideration
  • Comprehensive customizable reports with 5-year rolling projections

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SESSION 3: Provider Performance Management Technology™

Tuesday, August 10 | 12:00pm-12:45pm CT

With Provider Performance Management Technology™, organizations can build trust and engagement with the clinical workforce through actionable and transparent performance-based compensation administration, contract management, reporting and analytical capabilities.

What's New?

  • Panel attribution and compensation management capabilities
  • Automated clinical draw calculations and payments
  • Automated split-role compensation calculations
  • Full-scale physician contract lifecycle management

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Advanced Practice Provider Leadership Structures

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

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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.


group of physicians and advanced practice providers discussing issues

Advanced Practice Provider Utilization and Compensation | Case Study

Optimizing advanced practice provider utilization to increase retention and engagement

Featuring a case study from a large academic medical center

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At a time when health care organizations remain focused on pandemic-related financial and care delivery challenges, there is an acute need to engage and retain the clinical workforce by reducing burnout and unexpected turnover – and how advanced practice provider utilization within the care team can have a significant impact on both.

As organizations look for better ways to support their growing APP workforce, they require an intentional approach that aligns compensation design more closely with the goals of care team optimization in order to reduce costs and improve team performance.

In an article written by SullivanCotter and published by the American Association of Provider Compensation Professionals, learn more about how one organization set the stage for optimal APP utilization and care team delivery by also addressing important compensation issues at the same time.


PRESS RELEASE | Benchmarks360™ - APP Utilization and Perceptions Manager

SullivanCotter Releases Comprehensive APP Utilization and Perceptions Manager for its Growing Benchmarks360™ Platform

April 21, 2021 – Chicago – SullivanCotter, the nation’s leading independent consulting firm in the assessment and development of total rewards programs, workforce solutions, and technology and data products for the health care industry and not-for-profit sector, is pleased to announce the addition of powerful new capabilities for assessing advanced practice provider (APP) utilization and workforce perceptions to its growing Benchmarks360™ platform.

Powered by SullivanCotter’s proprietary surveys and research, Benchmarks360™ is a suite of intelligent, web-based products that enables health care organizations to analyze and visualize compensation, clinical productivity and workforce perceptions through industry-leading data, analyses and reporting.

"In today's unprecedented health care environment, it is important for organizations to utilize, engage and retain their clinical workforce more effectively. APP turnover can significantly impact cost, morale and operations, and gaining access to the right data and benchmarking tools can help to enhance workforce retention, team-based care practices and organizational performance during such a critical time,” said Amy Noecker, APP Workforce Practice Leader, SullivanCotter.

SullivanCotter’s Benchmarks360™ APP Utilization and Perceptions Manager allows organizations to collect, benchmark and report on the thoughts and experiences of their APPs and physicians related to APP compensation, resources and job responsibilities to help ensure current pay programs and care models are competitive and effective. In addition to data on nurse practitioners and physician assistants, it also provides information and analysis on other members of the APP workforce including certified registered nurse anesthetists and certified nurse midwives.

This new module includes two surveys designed to measure and compare individual organizations to national benchmarks.

APP: Utilization and Perceptions Survey

Learn more about the APP employment experience within your organization regarding scope of practice, clinical and non-clinical responsibilities, and perceptions on culture and compensation. Specific insights include:

  • Organizational structure, support and processes related to the APP workforce
  • Roles on the care team specific to location and specialty
  • Degree of integration and care team support
  • Opportunities for improved utilization and engagement

Physician: APP Utilization and Perceptions Survey

Learn more about your physician workforce and their experience working with APPs. Specific insights include:

  • Perception on APP integration and utilization
  • Roles of APPs on the care team
  • APP impact on quality, access and patient engagement
  • Understanding of regulatory requirements
  • Opportunities for improved alignment and team performance

These surveys may serve as a resource for organizations looking to better understand the current state of their APP workforce – including quantifying opportunities for optimization and readiness for change – and can play an important part in a more holistic review of APP practices when combined with SullivanCotter’s comprehensive advisory services.

“As health care organizations continue to navigate the lasting effects of a global pandemic, SullivanCotter remains committed to providing them with the critical, data-driven insights they need to measure, analyze and report on compensation and workforce performance. With the goal of addressing the increasingly complex and evolving needs of our clients, we are developing one of the industry’s most comprehensive benchmarking solutions by continuously refining our product roadmap and adding innovative new resources and functionality,” said David Schwietz, Chief Information Officer, SullivanCotter.

To learn more about Benchmarks360™, including important licensing information and a full list of features and functionality, visit sullivancotter.com/benchmarks360 or call 888.739.7039.

About SullivanCotter

SullivanCotter partners with health care and other not-for-profit organizations to understand what drives performance and improve outcomes through the development and implementation of integrated workforce strategies. Using our time-tested methodologies and industry-leading research and information, we provide data-driven insights, expertise, data and technology products to help organizations align business strategy and performance objectives – enabling our clients to deliver on their mission, vision and values.


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INFOGRAPHIC | Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists: Compensation and Pay Practices

Detailed insight into CRNA compensation, pay practices, work effort and more

In addition to providing critical base salary and total cash compensation benchmarking information for this important subset of the APP workforce, SullivanCotter’s Advanced Practice Provider Compensation and Productivity Survey has now expanded to include detailed insight into CRNA-specific pay practices as well.

While CRNAs are vital members of this growing workforce, the unique nature of their roles includes key differences in work effort and premium pay practices when compared to other APPs.

View highlights from the 2020 survey results to learn more!

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WEBINAR | The Impact of the Changing Health Care Environment on Primary Care

Is your organization struggling to address the impact of COVID-19, changes to the Stark Law and updates to the Physician Fee Schedule?

Tuesday, April 27 |  10-11am CT

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Hosted by the American Association of Provider Compensation Professionals (AAPCP)

Prior to the onset of COVID-19, the changing reimbursement environment and transition to value-based care were impacting primary care compensation design and pay practices. Today, as health care organizations nationwide are navigating an increasingly complex operating environment, COVID-19 continues to place pressure on financial sustainability, patient access and population health management.

Combined with changes to the Physician Self-Referral Law (Stark) and updates to the 2021 Physician Fee Schedule and Evaluation & Management CPT codes, health care organizations are rapidly engaging in the redesign of their primary care compensation programs.

During this session, SullivanCotter will highlight relevant market trends impacting contemporary primary care compensation design and discuss evolving plan methodologies and approaches as organizations plan for the future.


ON-DEMAND WEBINAR | Optimize Clinical Resources to Support Population Health Management

Understanding the Strategic Impact of a Physician Needs Assessment

Wednesday, May 19 | 12:30-1:30PM CT

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Hosted by the American Hospital Association/Health Forum

Access to market-specific physician supply and demand data is critical as hospitals and health systems look to support growth, enhance value-based care delivery, and reassess cost and efficiency concerns.

Health care organizations must identify the right amount and type of physician specialties to operate effectively in the markets they serve with the goals of optimizing clinical performance as the focus on value-based care and population health management intensifies.

Learn how accurate and actionable data-driven insight can help hospitals and health systems to identify, monitor and respond to changing service needs and physician and advanced practice provider (APP) staffing requirements. Decide strategically whether to recruit, employ or affiliate to create a competitive edge in today’s rapidly evolving health care environment.

During this webinar, industry experts from SullivanCotter will discuss:

  • Partnering with Union Health on strategies to support expanded value-based care and population health management requirements
  • Evaluating the market-specific drivers that influence physician demand
  • Accurately pinpointing employed and affiliated market physicians by specialty
  • Leading practices and innovative approaches to inform physician strategy and alignment efforts to enhance performance
  • Creating a competitive edge by optimizing clinical resources

Case Study | The Key Role of Advanced Practice Providers in Today's New Normal

Featuring Stanford Health Care's Strategy to Heighten APP Integration and Engagement

As health care organizations nationwide continue to balance managing the immediate implications of the COVID-19 pandemic with planning for what lies ahead, many are looking to optimize team-based care delivery to help address emerging operational challenges, maintain financial sustainability, and meet evolving patient needs.

With the ability to direct patient care and generate revenue, advanced practice providers (APPs) are critical members of the care team and can play an important role in this transformation.

Featuring a case study published in AAPL's Physician Leadership Journal, learn more about how SullivanCotter partnered with Stanford Health Care to develop a comprehensive strategy and program to maximize utilization, support optimization and enhance engagement for its growing APP workforce.

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INFOGRAPHIC | 2020 Advanced Practice Provider Compensation and Pay Practices Survey

Representing nearly 20% of all practicing APPs nationwide

Advanced practice provider (APP) compensation programs are shifting to address changing market dynamics and mitigate the financial implications of COVID-19. Considering the current impact of the pandemic, the 2020 survey represents the best data reference point for use in the near future and can serve as a foundation for understanding specialty market positioning leading into COVID-19, pinpointing areas of focus for targeted compensation adjustments, and assisting with post-pandemic budget and productivity planning.

SullivanCotter’s 2020 APP Compensation and Pay Practices Survey contains data from nearly 700 organizations on over 84,500 individual APPs and represents nearly 20% of all practicing APPs nationwide. New in 2020, the survey now also reports expanded work effort data for specialty-based APPs, CRNA-specific pay practices and additional productivity data.

The 2021 survey is now open for participation. Don't miss your chance to submit data and gain access to exclusive APP compensation, pay practices and productivity data!

View highlights from the 2020 results to learn more - including base salary and total cash compensation, incentive compensation, premium pay and clinical productivity.

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INFOGRAPHIC | Benchmarking Resources for the Medical Group Workforce

Gain access to critical medical group benchmarking data for the entire health care workforce - including executives, physicians, advanced practice providers and other health care staff

This year more than ever, medical groups require access to critical data-driven insights as they look to address the impact of COVID-19 on workforce compensation and productivity, prepare for the 2021 Physician Fee Schedule changes, and balance the need for competitive total reward programs against pressure on operating margins.

Learn more about SullivanCotter’s growing suite of medical group benchmarking resources for all your workforce needs – including annual compensation data and incentive award opportunities for executives, detailed productivity reporting for physicians and advanced practice providers, and market data by organization size, region, state and more for other health care staff positions.

Our suite of 2021 health care compensation surveys are now open for participation! 

View highlights from the 2020 results to learn more about SullivanCotter's proprietary benchmarking data and resources available to medical groups.

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INFOGRAPHIC | 2020 Physician On-Call and Telemedicine Compensation Survey

One-of-a-kind survey providing rare insight into physician call-pay and telemedicine practices

As clinical care settings and practices continue to change in a rapidly evolving health care environment, many organizations are expanding or evaluating their physician on-call and telemedicine programs.

Designing effective arrangements to support this demand is critical, and starts with gaining access to the right data.

With nearly 300 participating organizations providing information on approximately 3,100 individual call contracts, this survey provides hospitals and health systems with the data they need to help address complex call pay issues, understand emerging trends in telemedicine, negotiate contracts and evaluate physician fair market value.

The 2020 survey report is now available for purchase! View highlights from the results to learn more.

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Understanding Co-Management Arrangements

Key drivers, compensation structures and payouts, and performance metrics and target setting

As health care continues to shift its focus from volume to value, hospitals are implementing strategies to help strengthen hospital-physician alignment. Co-management arrangements are contractual agreements between hospitals and physicians that establish shared responsibility for particular service lines. These agreements are commonly structured with an even split between both base and incentive compensation components. Base compensation is tied to the number of management service hours required to fulfill baseline duties, while incentive compensation is linked to strategic performance measures.

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PRESS RELEASE | SullivanCotter Integrates Health Care Contract Management Solution into PPMT™

Partnering with Ntracts to deliver full-scale contract lifecycle management capabilities

November 30, 2020 – Chicago – SullivanCotter, the nation’s leading independent consulting firm in the assessment and development of total rewards programs, workforce solutions, and technology and data products for the health care industry and not-for-profit sector, has partnered with Ntracts, a premier health care contract management solution, to incorporate full-scale contract lifecycle management as part of its comprehensive Provider Performance Management Technology™ (PPMT) platform. PPMT™ is an industry-first, cloud-based solution that enables engagement and alignment of the clinical workforce through the automation of performance-based compensation administration, analytical and reporting capabilities. Ntracts allows organizations to mitigate contract compliance risk and streamline the contracting process across the entire enterprise.

Designed to address a spectrum of physician, leadership and other key administrative needs, PPMT™ delivers centralized and actionable data tailored to the unique needs of each stakeholder. It combines years of health care compensation insight and expertise with an intuitive, automated technology platform, and serves as a single source of truth that helps empower physicians to drive desired outcomes and enhance organizational performance.

Ensuring that physician employment agreements align with system-wide compensation terms and payments remains a challenge for health care organizations nationwide. With the addition of Ntracts, PPMT™ will include a cutting-edge contract lifecycle management component that will provide hospitals and health systems with an accurate and comprehensive view of clinical employment contracts across the organization in real-time. By effectively integrating the compensation, performance and contract lifecycle management process into one centralized platform, PPMT™ will help to drive results through greater alignment, transparency and insight.

“Health care continues to evolve at a rapid pace, and there are number of complex moving parts to navigate as it relates to physician compensation and performance. By adding critical contract management capabilities to help health care organizations reduce risk, maintain compliance with changing regulatory requirements, and improve operational efficiency, PPMT™ will be a full-scale solution designed to support the transition from volume to value-based care,” said David Schwietz, Chief Information Officer, SullivanCotter.

David Paschall, Chief Executive Officer of Ntracts, adds, “SullivanCotter shares our commitment to quality and we are proud to combine our industry-leading contract lifecycle management solution with SullivanCotter’s expertise in physician compensation and performance. Together we can offer an unmatched, end-to-end technology solution to support health care organizations as they work to drive change and deliver long-term, sustainable results in this quickly evolving environment.”

For more information on Provider Performance Management Technology™, visit www.sullivancotter.com/PPMT or contact us at 888.739.7039.

About SullivanCotter

SullivanCotter partners with health care and other not-for-profit organizations to understand what drives performance and improve outcomes through the development and implementation of integrated workforce strategies. Using our time-tested methodologies and industry-leading research and information, we provide data-driven insights, expertise, data and technology to help organizations align business strategy and performance objectives – enabling our clients to deliver on their mission, vision and values.

About Ntracts

Ntracts, Inc. offers a software-as-a-service application that enables users to originate, search for and report on contracts. The application also accelerates the contract review and approval process by automatically notifying responsible parties of contract requests, approaching expiration dates and other critical performance milestones, saving clients both time and money. Ntracts, Inc. is based in Indianapolis, Indiana, and was founded by Hall, Render, Killian, Heath & Lyman, the nation's leading health care law firm.


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PRESS RELEASE | SullivanCotter Releases Enhanced Patient Panel Management Capabilities for PPMT™

Utilize SullivanCotter's industry-first physician compensation software to automate the assignment of patients to clinician panels through sophisticated organization-defined rules

October 28, 2020 – ChicagoSullivanCotter, the nation’s leading independent consulting firm in the assessment and development of total rewards programs, workforce solutions, and technology and data products for the health care industry and not-for-profit sector, launches expanded patient panel management functionality in the latest update of its comprehensive Provider Performance Management Technology™ (PPMT). PPMT™ is an industry-first, cloud-based physician compensation software that enables provider engagement through transparent performance-based compensation administration, reporting and analytical capabilities.

As the focus on optimizing team-based care to achieve better patient outcomes intensifies, health care organizations require more effective strategies and resources for facilitating patient panel management. PPMT™ enables organizations to automate the assignment of patients to clinician panels through sophisticated client-defined rules. It then calculates a risk-adjusted panel size and applies compensation calculations for a group or individual based on an organization’s requirements – providing the flexibility to change patient attribution and/or panel compensation assignments as clinical teams evolve. PPMT™ allows for greater transparency into panel composition and serves as a single, centralized source of truth for clinician compensation.

“Properly attributing patients to the correct clinician’s panel can require hours of administrative time each month. Combined with detailed analytics and powerful auditing and adjustment tools, the new panel management functionality streamlines this process to ensure more accurate attribution and support effective panel management programs,” said Shelly Slowiak, Director, Product Support, Provider Performance Management Technology™, SullivanCotter.

Designed to address a spectrum of physician, leadership and other key stakeholder needs, PPMT™ combines years of health care compensation insight and expertise with an intuitive, automated technology platform to help drive clinician performance and support the transition from volume- to value-based care. It incorporates SullivanCotter’s industry-leading benchmarking data into three integrated modules, including Provider Performance Management, Provider Productivity Insights and Compensation Management Analytics.

“We’re working hard to understand our clients’ changing needs and priorities and, as a result, will continue to refine our product roadmap and deliver the functionality they require to help navigate such a dynamic marketplace. This innovative new functionality will serve to strengthen our existing physician compensation software and panel management capabilities, and is a welcome addition to PPMT™ as we strive to develop one of the industry’s most comprehensive, end-to-end technology products for managing clinical compensation and performance,” said David Schwietz, Chief Information Officer, SullivanCotter.

For more information on Provider Performance Management Technology™, visit www.sullivancotter.com/PPMT or contact us at 888.739.7039.

About SullivanCotter

SullivanCotter partners with health care and other not-for-profit organizations to understand what drives performance and improve outcomes through the development and implementation of integrated workforce strategies. Using our time-tested methodologies and industry-leading research and information, we provide data-driven insights, expertise, data and technology to help organizations align business strategy and performance objectives – enabling our clients to deliver on their mission, vision and values.


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INFOGRAPHIC | Considerations for Addressing the 2021 E&M Work RVU Changes

Considerations for Addressing CMS' final changes to the 2021 E&M Work RVU Values


RELATED CONTENT:
ARTICLE | 2021 Evaluation and Management CPT Codes: Understanding the Impact on Physician Compensation
ARTICLE | Navigating Change: Implications of the 2021 Physician Fee Schedule
SullivanCotter's CPT Advisory Services and Technology Solutions


Following its annual review of the American Medical Association’s Relative Value System Update Committee’s recommendations, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized proposed changes to the 2021 Physician Fee Schedule and has significantly overhauled the Evaluation and Management (E&M) code documentation requirements, time-effort recognition, and wRVU values for new and established patient office visits.  These changes were effective as of January 1, 2021.

As organizations look to understand the impact of these changes on reported physician productivity levels, it is also important to assess the effect it will have on physician compensation arrangements, fair market value and commercial reasonableness considerations, financial sustainability and national survey benchmarks.

Contact us or visit our CPT Solutions page learn more about assessing the impact of the E&M code changes within your organization.

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PRESS RELEASE |
Hospital Sisters Health System Implements PPMT™

Hospital Sisters Health System Selects Innovative Technology Product to Automate and Enhance Physician Compensation and Performance Management Capabilities

October 13, 2020 – Chicago – SullivanCotter, the nation’s leading independent consulting firm in the assessment and development of rewards programs and workforce solutions for the health care industry and not-for-profit sector, has partnered with HSHS Medical Group and Prairie Cardiovascular, two Hospital Sisters Health System ministries, to implement its comprehensive Provider Performance Management Technology™ (PPMT).

Hospital Sisters Health System is a large, multi-institutional health system committed to delivering high-quality, patient-centered care to communities throughout Illinois and Wisconsin. By leveraging PPMT™, an industry-first, cloud-based product that enables physician and APP engagement through transparent performance-based compensation administration and analytical capabilities, the organization is looking to automate and align the management of clinician pay and performance across its medical group.

Driven by the need to provide a growing network of physicians with more accurate compensation and productivity data, HSHS Medical Group and Prairie Cardiovascular started the journey with an in-house application designed to enhance a process that was once very manual. Developing the right mix of internal resources and support to expand the application’s capabilities in line with the system’s evolving needs, however, proved difficult.

“We required a more comprehensive system with the ability to flex and scale with us as we add or change value-based incentives, modify compensation plans and analyze the impact of Evaluation and Management CPT code changes. PPMT™ will now enable us to automatically deliver extensive supporting documentation with drill-down capabilities to the patient-level for our clinicians to access any time they want. Providing this visibility and transparency is critical as we navigate an increasingly complex and rapidly changing health care environment,” said Linda Dace, System Vice President of Finance, Hospital Sisters Health System.

PPMT™ incorporates SullivanCotter’s industry-leading benchmarking data into three integrated modules, including Provider Performance Management, Provider Productivity Insights and Compensation Management Analytics. Hospital Sisters Health System selected all three modules to help support their goals - allowing for a more cohesive approach to compensation and performance management.

For more information on Provider Performance Management Technology™, visit www.sullivancotter.com/PPMT or contact us at 888.739.7039.

About SullivanCotter

SullivanCotter partners with health care and other not-for-profit organizations to understand what drives performance and improve outcomes through the development and implementation of integrated workforce strategies. Using our time-tested methodologies and industry-leading research and information, we provide data-driven insights and expertise to help organizations align business strategy and performance objectives – enabling our clients to deliver on their mission, vision and values.


 

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Optimizing Care Delivery in Response to COVID-19

Supporting system-wide alignment in an evolving health care environment

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Health systems nationwide continue to face a number of unprecedented challenges due to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic. Supporting financial sustainability remains a top priority. As the industry looks ahead and makes plans for financial recovery and operational transformation, optimizing care delivery to improve efficiency, drive workforce performance and increase revenue is a critical step in this process.

Care delivery optimization between systems and their affiliated hospitals, integrated practices, and physician and advanced practice provider (APP) workforces can promote financial sustainability by identifying gaps in care delivery, improving operational efficiency, reducing clinical variation, and expanding capacity for important growth initiatives. To help accomplish this, there are five key areas that health care organizations should focus on as they look to position themselves to deliver the greatest possible value.

SullivanCotter recommends a thoughtful and strategic review of the following areas:

Physician/APP-Hospital Alignment

Aligning operations, goals and results across the organization is key to building a workforce that is unified and supports organizational strategy. To enhance care delivery optimization, organizations should:

  • Assess current physician affiliation relationships, including pending and/or potential mergers and acquisitions and consider:
    • Updating due diligence assessments in the context of COVID-19 to include financial analysis and review of agreements
    • Reviewing key characteristics of existing compensation arrangements and performance requirements to conduct best practice comparisons by affiliation model/relationship and assure incentives are aligned between the models
  • Evaluate current and projected physician and APP staffing requirements and care team development to address community need, integrated practice and service line needs
  • Review current and potential Service Line Co-Management or HEIP (Hospital Efficiency Improvement Plan) arrangements to ensure the metrics are still aligned with system goals
  • Assess physician involvement in the decision-making process, including medical group and service line governance structure
  • Consider clinical workforce culture and perceptions related to strategic objectives while also identifying opportunities for improvement

Medical Group Operational and Financial Performance

Evaluating a medical group’s overall performance against a variety of operational and financial metrics will help identify actionable areas for improvement.

  • Assess key medical group and/or specialty-level operational and financial performance indicators
    • Review and update productivity thresholds and benchmarks, revenue, expenses and overall financial performance, staffing ratios, measured outcomes, patient capacity and clinic throughput
    • Evaluate performance indicators shared with physicians and APPs and ensure systems are in place to provide transparent and timely information on performance relative to benchmarks, service line and system strategic goals
    • Consider primary care model redesign and develop financial feasibility pro forma based on volume expectations and clinical regulations
    • Focus on care delivery models designed to achieve optimal financial performance with a patient-centric focus (e.g., improves satisfaction, APPs practice at top-of-license, yields appropriate return on investment)
  • Perform workflow assessment at the service line and practice levels to evaluate patient access and throughput, including the utilization of telehealth and remote services

Specialty and Service Line Care Delivery

Once the medical group’s overall performance has been assessed and specific underperforming specialties have been identified, it is important to do a deep dive into specialty and service line performance. Assessing clinical workforce performance is imperative as organizations look to increase the focus on value-based outcomes associated with quality and cost.

  • Evaluate unwarranted care variation and cost-efficiency opportunities
  • Develop strategies to reduce length of stay variance, readmission and value-based care penalties
  • Perform service line and facility-based workforce planning and staffing efficiency assessments
  • Identify appropriate benchmarks related to cost of care against internal and external cohorts
  • Review physician referral processes to help project actual and expected volumes

Readiness for Value-Based Care

Successfully navigating the transition from volume to value relies largely on enhancing patient access. Care model designs that do not support this goal will likely result in stagnant market share or loss of patients.

  • Conduct a physician needs assessment, demographic map and strategic plan to match service needs within market segments based on expected changes
  • Perform analysis of telehealth capacity, financial return on investment and regulatory requirements
  • Assess clinic space, including waiting room access and throughput in light of COVID restrictions

APP Utilization

APPs are one of the fastest growing segments of the health care workforce. Integrating APPs as key members of the care delivery team and utilizing them to their full potential can help an organization to achieve a number of important goals – including improved patient access, increased revenue, and enhanced quality and service while also reducing the cost of care.

  • Perform a current-state analysis by comparing APP utilization and productivity to market benchmarks based on specialty and role:
    • Quantify the financial opportunity available with a fully optimized APP workforce
    • Conduct a readiness assessment to determine barriers and cultural considerations related to full APP optimization
    • Identify specific specialties or service lines with the most opportunity (financial or non-financial) and readiness for change
  • Review and update APP organizational practices:
    • Assess governance structures, recruitment and retention policies, and training and development programs
    • Align organizational bylaws, policies, practices and operations to federal and state laws, payer policies and procedures, and leading market practices

Conclusion

The process of evaluating these five focus areas will help to highlight and quantify opportunities for improving patient access, enhancing organizational efficiency, increasing revenue and reducing costs as health systems plan for what lies ahead. For each area of focus, SullivanCotter recommends developing an in-depth assessment, utilizing operational and financial expertise and incorporating comparative benchmark data analysis to define potential solutions unique to the requirements of each system to help optimize clinical performance and achieve key organizational goals.

 

Leveraging data-driven insights and over 25 years of experience, SullivanCotter partners with organizations to develop comprehensive care delivery optimization strategies tailored to the unique needs of each client.


PRESS RELEASE | SullivanCotter Launches New Physician Needs Assessment

SullivanCotter Launches New Physician Needs Assessment Application to Support Critical Staffing and Service Line Requirements

September 15, 2020 – Chicago – SullivanCotter, the nation’s leading independent consulting firm in the assessment and development of rewards programs and workforce solutions for the health care industry and not-for-profit sector, announces the launch of its new Physician Needs Assessment (PNA). SullivanCotter’s PNA is an interactive, cloud-based application that delivers actionable, data-driven insight into physician supply and demand to help organizations identify, monitor and respond to changing service line needs and physician workforce staffing requirements.

By leveraging real-time market intelligence, custom analyses and tailored forecasting scenarios, this innovative new PNA application enables organizations to dynamically address emerging market trends, changing population demographics and evolving physician practice patterns.

Using proprietary benchmark data from over 1,500 organizations and 400,000 physicians, SullivanCotter’s advanced methodology analyzes more than 1 billion unique claims annually to accurately calculate the physician surplus or deficit within a specific area by determining supply, forecasting wRVU utilization and adjusting to various market-specific demographics – including geography, economic factors, age/gender, payment types and managed care –  to calculate subsequent demand projections.

“In today’s increasingly uncertain marketplace, health care organizations remain acutely focused on recovery and what lies ahead in a post-COVID-19 operating environment. As hospitals and health systems look for better ways to support financial sustainability, assess clinical optimization opportunities, drive performance, and manage physician resources and service line needs, organizations must determine the right amount and type of physician specialties to operate effectively in the markets they serve ,” said Ted Chien, President and Chief Executive Officer, SullivanCotter.

Additional features and functionality include:

  • A rigorously researched, call-verified and editable physician and APP supply roster based on multiple data sources that includes tracking of employment and affiliations
  • Interactive mapping tool with the ability to select specific zip codes for strategic consideration and to account for any shifts in demographic mix
  • Predictive modeling to assess the impact of virtual care, urgent care, retail health and more
  • Advanced Practice Provider calculator to measure the impact of this workforce across specialties and their corresponding effect on physician supply and demand
  • Comprehensive, customizable reports with 5-year rolling projections and automatic annual updates to demand defined by demographic and geographic data
  • Archived reports providing strategic service area information and annual Stark compliance insights for measuring community need and assessing fair market value and commercial reasonableness considerations

Designed with the unique needs of leadership, physician and administrative stakeholders in mind, SullivanCotter’s PNA combines data-driven technology, industry-leading benchmark data and years of physician workforce consulting experience to provide organizations with the information and insights they need to inform key service line, practice and payer strategies in an evolving health care environment.

To learn more, request a demo, or view a full list of features and functionality, visit sullivancotter.com/PNA or call 888.739.7039.

About SullivanCotter

SullivanCotter partners with health care and other not-for-profit organizations to understand what drives performance and improve outcomes through the development and implementation of integrated workforce strategies. Using our time-tested methodologies and industry-leading research and information, we provide data-driven insights and expertise to help organizations align business strategy and performance objectives – enabling our clients to deliver on their mission, vision and values.


 

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INFOGRAPHIC | APP Leadership Practices and Structures

Leadership Structures to Support Advanced Practice Provider Retention and Engagement

Advanced practice providers (APPs) comprise one of the fastest growing workforces in the United States and are integral to effective and efficient health care delivery.

Organizations are developing APP leadership structures to create comprehensive workforce strategies that focus on APP optimization, workforce planning, recruitment, retention, engagement and ensure alignment with physician workforce strategies.

Learn more from SullivanCotter's 2019 APP Workforce Practices and Structures Survey.

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