How a Multi-Hospital Health System Cultivated Community Practice Alignment to Support Clinical and Administrative Needs
Penn State Health is a multi-hospital health system serving patients and communities across 29 counties in central Pennsylvania.
In October 2020, Penn State Health (PSH) assumed ownership of Holy Spirit Hospital from the Geisinger health system. A year later, in October 2021, PSH opened a new state of the art hospital – Penn State Health Hampden Medical Center – approximately five miles from the Holy Spirit location.
With two new medical centers in their western Pennsylvania market, both with significant clinical and administrative needs, the PSH leadership team quickly became focused on aligning their relationships with the community-based independent practices in the region. They were searching for various ways to work with the area’s community-based practices and integrate them within the PSH system, without the need or want for employment.
MMG was engaged to help review the requirements of the PSH system and coordinate solutions that satisfied the needs of both the health system and the independent practices within the region.
MMG first conducted a needs assessment with the leadership at PSH Western Region to identify the health system’s priorities and determine which specialties and groups we would approach to assess interest.
MMG, along with the leadership from PSH, met with the principals from the identified groups to discuss the current and future clinical and administrative needs of the two medical centers. Simultaneously, the MMG team deployed analytical and operational resources to quantify the interest, capabilities and capacity of each group to realistically service each center’s needs.
Using these insights, MMG presented various alignment options to the PSH leadership team that could benefit both the medical centers and the community-based practices. The team also provided a detailed list of options that could fit the needs of both parties which, among other things, included:
- Provider income guarantees for new recruits coming to work in the markets
- On-call medical arrangements
- Clinical and Administrative medical directorships
- Physician service and management agreements
- Quality and shared savings programs
Finally, MMG worked with PSH leadership and legal counsel to put together various letters of intent and contract agreements for these arrangements with the various group practices they were in discussions with.
PSH has been able to successfully grow their relationships with the community practice groups in the region, ensuring the sustainability and growth of both medical centers from a clinical and administrative needs perspective while also ensuring compliance with Joint Commission (JCAHO), Fair Market Value and Commercial Reasonableness.
The practices also benefited from the partnerships, receiving financial and operational support that allows them to maintain independence and continue providing important medical services to patients within their communities.