Author: Kevin Loeffler

Meeting Community Needs

In our rapidly changing healthcare environment, adaptation of new integrated delivery models is essential for meeting patient care standards while concurrently running a successful operation. Add to that the recent requirements established in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that call for qualifying healthcare organizations to conduct a Community Health Needs Assessment ("CHNA") every three years, and hospital-physician relationships have never been more important. A key strategy to strong physician relations is the knowledge of physician resource needs as they apply to the community served and the goals and strategy behind hospital-physician alignment.

Why IS Physician Resource Planning Important?

Required by healthcare reform law

With the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a CHNA is no longer an elective process for hospitals that meet the requirements of a 501(c)(3) organization under the Internal Revenue Code. Such organizations are required to conduct a CHNA every three years and adopt an implementation strategy to meet the community health needs identified through such an assessment. Failure to do so could result in a hefty excise tax of $50,000. In addition to ensuring regulatory compliance under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a well-designed CHNA, to include a Medical Staff Development Plan ("MSDP"), will likely assist an organization with respect to its compliance obligations related to physician financial arrangements under both the IRS Code as well as Stark and the Anti-Kickback Statute.

Establish recruitment action plan and integration of needed healthcare professionals into community

A CHNA projects the local and/or regional needs for healthcare resources. The use of a MSDP, an enhancement many times included as part of a CHNA, will specifically provide strategic direction concerning the recruitment and retention of medical staff in accordance with community and hospital needs. A healthcare organization can utilize a MSDP to:

  • Facilitate strategic and business planning efforts
  • Develop strategies toward physician-hospital alignment
  • Differentiate clinical service offerings from competitors
  • Identify allied health practitioner needs
  • Documenting private practice recruitment support payments

Medical Staff Development Plan Structure / Process / Policy


A well-designed medical staff development plan should include, at minimum, the following components:

Community Description Needs Ratios Quantitative Assessments Qualitative Assessments
  • A description of how the healthcare organization took into account input from persons who represent the broad interests of the community
  • A description of the existing healthcare facilities and other resources within the community available to meet the community
    health needs
  • A definition of the service
  • Physician-need-per-population ratios applied
    to the service area
  • Population demographics
    (e.g., aging,
    socioeconomics, etc.)
  • Physician retirement and
    recruitment patterns
  • National and regional
    healthcare resource
    utilization trends
  • Incidence of disease
  • Health risk factors
  • Physician productivity
    (employed and
  • Outmigration (patterns and
    types of cases leaving the
  • Facilitate focus groups with public health agencies, private businesses, insurers, etc.
  • Conduct interviews with the medical staff, administration and community representatives
  • Distribute a survey to the medical staff and advanced practice
  • Assess perceived workstyle patterns
  • Assess perceived recruitment targets of regional physicians groups
  • Assess perceived community access issues
  • Assess call coverage


The medical staff development planning process can be broken down into the following steps:


It is also important for healthcare organizations to have a defined policy regarding physician recruitment for their primary service area ("PSA") and secondary service area ("SSA"). A sample policy is illustrated below:

Gallagher's Approach

Gallagher offers a comprehensive approach to physician resource planning through our MSDP reports that combines qualitative and quantitative results and ensures accuracy and reasonableness. Our methodology is thorough and proven effective, but we are flexible and can easily customize our approach to better meet a client’s needs. After executing your recruitment plan, our experienced consultants can help your organization develop a compensation program that is not only market competitive, but also consistent with best practices for each unique role in the organization. 

If you have any questions surrounding our firm’s MSDP service line, if you would like to receive a sample copy of our full MSDP report for your reference, or if you are interested in having our firm conduct a MSDP for your organization, do not hesitate to contact Kevin Loeffler at 612-337-1129.

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