Physician Leadership as a Core Competency: A Case Study of Aurora Healthcare in Moving Toward Bundled Payments

August 2013
This case study considers how Aurora Healthcare (AHC) has engaged physicians and developed physician leaders in order to support care delivery innovation.
A group of five physicians of diverse genders and ethnicities

The following introduction provides an overview of the case study. AHC is an integrated, not-for-profit healthcare system serving communities throughout eastern Wisconsin and northern Illinois. AHC operates 15 hospitals, more than 200 clinics, and 82 retail pharmacies. It employs more than 30,000 caregivers, including 1,400 physicians and 600 advanced practice providers. In 2010, AHC treated 1.2 million individuals, saw more than 3.6 million ambulatory care visits, and processed more than 92,000 inpatient discharges. Although many providers are employed by AHC, the organization also contracts with a number of primary care and specialty providers and for services supplied by specialized children's hospitals.

To date, AHC does not operate under bundled payment (BP) contracts. However, AHC has prepared for what it believes will be a shift away from traditional fee-for-service reimbursement toward models that create incentives for more coordinated and higher-value care, under which payment will be more tightly linked to performance, quality, and efficiency. AHC and its leadership have invested significant time and capital to prepare the organization for changes to payment, including shared savings and BPs.

A central component of AHC's effort to succeed under new payment models has been the development—and the execution—of a comprehensive strategy to engage AHC physicians in the redesign of care. Under these new payments models, physicians are considered critical to successfully delivering coordinated, evidence-based care that eliminates waste and inefficiencies while improving quality and reducing costs. AHC views physician leaders as essential to capitalizing on the opportunities available through care redesign.

Download the full Physician Leadership as a Core Competency: A Case Study of Aurora Healthcare.


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