August 08, 2012 15:16 ET

New VHA Physician Strategies and Services Consulting Group Assists With Health System, Physician Practice Integration

Integrating Physician Practices and Hospitals Is Integral to Meeting Future Population Health Needs

IRVING, TX--(Marketwire - Aug 8, 2012) - To address the shift toward clinically integrated population health management, VHA Inc., the national health care network, today announced the launch of VHA Physician Strategies and Services. The new team of veteran consultants will focus on assisting member hospitals as they integrate physician practices into their organizations, better serving patients across the full continuum of care.

"Along with providing better care, many health care systems know that future value-based reimbursement models will reward collaboration," explained Byron Jobe, VHA executive vice president, service and delivery. "Integrating physician practices into the acute care setting aligns with new integrated delivery models like patient-centered medical homes, patient-centered medical neighborhoods and accountable care organizations that are paid based on value, instead of the traditional transactional model."

"The VHA Physician Strategies and Services group is focused on helping health care centers and physician practices smoothly integrate their processes to achieve the best patient outcomes and financial performance," explained Steve Miff, PhD, senior vice president, VHA IMPERATIV™. 

Types of work projects the group will address include:

  • Assessing a hospital or health system's physician integration needs and delivering a roadmap for increased integration,
  • Consulting and implementing physician partnership structures, physician practice acquisitions and medical home management,
  • Improving the operations of employed or affiliated physician practices.

"This service adds to VHA's long history in hospital-physician alignment consulting services in order to help hospitals design and implement a wider breadth of physician-engagement options," Miff explained. "These new services complement our portfolio of VHA IMPERATIV solutions and enhance our offerings across Bundled Payment and Gainsharing Services that VHA and its subsidiary, Goodroe Healthcare Solutions, has offered hospitals since 1995."

VHA currently has more than 150 full-time clinical and operational consultants who annually drive more than $100 million in member savings.

Members of VHA Physician Strategies and Services include:

  • Donald L. Hicks, JD, VHA vice president, Physician Strategies Consulting, whose 35 years of experience includes strategic planning, business planning, ambulatory care services, physician group management and compensation planning,
  • James E. Doty, VHA senior principal, Physician Strategies Consulting, has 38 years of health care experience. He specializes in hospital strategic planning, physician group practice management, primary care group practice development, mergers and acquisitions and foundations and hospital/physician relationships,
  • Maryellen Moore, MA, VHA senior director, Physician Strategies Consulting, whose 25 years of physician, hospital and consulting service includes ambulatory care operations, product service line and business development, technology implementation, budget management, system design and implementation, revenue cycle management and strategic problem solving,
  • Rose Wagner, RN, MA, VHA senior director, Physician Strategies Consulting, who possesses 25 years of experience in health care administration, management and consulting in physician group practices.

Additionally, sixteen other seasoned physician group practice management executives will provide a wide range of practice group management services to VHA members and clients.

Hicks and Doty, who lead the new VHA service, explain that the team will do anything and everything necessary to integrate physician practices into a health system's operation, including breaking down communications barriers that frequently exist. They further agree that there is a basic language issue that creates a barrier between hospital leaders and physicians that needs to be overcome. 

"Hospital leaders need to talk with physicians, learning how they work and what's important to them. Likewise, physician leaders need to integrate into the current macro health economic thought so they can translate it to other physicians and gain their support. It is only when both parties reach a meeting of minds that it can result in shared governance. Our job is to help administrators and physicians work through the process. We say that we stay for the pain. We help everyone see the upside and the downside of change," commented Hicks.

About VHA - VHA Inc., based in Irving, Texas, is a national network of not-for-profit health care organizations that work together to drive maximum savings in the supply chain arena, set new levels of clinical performance, and identify and implement best practices to improve operational efficiency and clinical outcomes. Since 1977, VHA has leveraged its expertise in analytics, contracting, consulting and networks to help members achieve their operational, clinical and financial objectives. In 2011, VHA delivered record savings and value of $1.9 billion to members. VHA serves more than 1,350 hospitals and more than 72,000 non-acute care providers nationwide, coordinating delivery of its programs and services through its 15 regional offices. VHA has been ranked as one of the best places to work in healthcare by Modern Healthcare since the publication introduced this list in 2008.

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