Is your physician relations program due for a check-up?

docCheck out the Physician Strategies Summit in Orlando, February 24 – 26, 2013.

Some years ago (okay, a few decades back), I had taken on the role of director of marketing for a large, tertiary teaching hospital in southeastern Virginia.  Even before the days of “big data,” we observed that a substantial percentage of patients in core clinical programs (e.g., cardiac, cancer, orthopedics, etc.) came from neighboring North Carolina communities.  So a colleague and I took a road trip through northeastern North Carolina to meet the physicians and hospitals that sent us those referrals.

Our intent was simple – to make introductions, say ‘thank you’ for the referrals, and ask what we could do better.  We were warmly welcomed – in fact, most were shocked that we were there.  “The first time ever” said a family practice doc, that he had been contacted much less visited by someone from our hospital.   And we learned a lot — how we could make referral processes easier, how doctor-to-doctor communications needed improvement, and how simple tools like maps (those were the days before GPS and MapQuest) and lists of local hotels and restaurants would be useful for their patients. 

A few years later, we formalized the physician referral development program.

Fast forward to 2013.  Today, the relationship paradigm for health systems and doctors is cast in terms like alignment, integration, engagement, collaboration, and accountability.  It is manifested through a host of new relationship models, including employed medical groups, clinically-integrated networks, co-management agreements, MSOs, PHOs and medical foundations, among others.

So, what is the role of the physician relations executive in this new world?  On February 24, 2013, I’m going to join four healthcare leaders at the Forum for Healthcare Strategists Physician Strategies Summit to explore that very topic.  The Physician Strategies Summit is being held at the JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes in Orlando, Florida, February 24 – 26, 2013.  Among the more than two dozen topics are:

  • Emerging models for hospital/physician alignment
  • Moving from volume to value
  • Practice operations, compensation and population health strategy
  • Engaging physicians in patient experience
  • Driving referral volume with integrated PRM
  • Developing physician leaders

Speakers include executives from leading healthcare organizations across the U.S., including Beth Israel Deaconess, Penn Medicine, Geisinger, MedStar, Advocate and Barnes-Jewish.

I hope to see you in Florida.  Here are the topic description and speakers for the session I’ll be moderating.

Physician Liaison Executives: Are You Ready for the Future?
Sunday, February 24, 2013; 1:00 pm to 3:45 pm

More than ever, physician relations executives are being held to a higher standard of accountability for driving growth, physician loyalty, and better business performance. Is your department positioned for success? Join your colleagues to explore trends shaping the future of hospital/physician relationships. Hear how three organizations are reshaping physician relations to proactively address those trends. Take home tips and resources to help you:

  • Build a high-performing, future-ready physician relations team (structure, alignment, motivation)
  • Develop and implement a winning physician referral strategy (capabilities, systems, outcomes)
  • Obtain buy-in from leadership
  • Assess your own program and establish a road map for change


Jeff Cowart, Senior Vice President
Growth and Sales
Baptist Health System (San Antonio, TX)

Edward C. Dougherty, MBA, Senior Vice President
Business & Network Development
Lehigh Valley Health Network (Allentown, PA)

Lori McLelland, Executive Director
Market Development
Emory Healthcare (Decatur, GA)

Brian A. Nester, DO, MBA
Chief Strategy Officer
Lehigh Valley Health Network (Allentown, PA)

Karen Corrigan, Facilitator
Founder & CEO, Corrigan Partners

1 Comment

Filed under Physician Relations

One response to “Is your physician relations program due for a check-up?

  1. Your site has been very helpful with the material you provided.
    It certainly seems to be informative to help other readers get a lot
    out of the content.I am looking forward to more future postings. Thank you very much

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