As a former Administrator and one of the first RPG employees, I am very proud to say that 95% of our hospital partnerships have continued without interruption… some over a decade!
The continuity success of our partnerships comes down to many things, but most notably the ability of the model to balance a hospital and community’s needs with a provider’s. RPG’s programs are built around a unique risk sharing model that has been carefully curated for the rural hospital market. This model, wherein the provider has “skin in the game,” motivates RPG physicians to keep as many cases in the community as they safely and appropriately can. RPG’s value promise also carefully considers both the preferences of hospitals as well as physicians – our hospital partners are guaranteed a “right fit” physician for each unique environment, and physicians are routinely surveyed about their hospital preferences and environments they would like to be in. RPG accomplishes this by employing the following:
1) The Regional Medical Director, Regional Program Directors (BSN/RN) and VP Clinical Services outline the nuances of the individual hospital capabilities and hospital culture to the RPG physician recruiting team. By this point the VP Clinical Services (PA-C) and Regional Program Director (RN/BSN) will have been onsite and met with each department to best understand the care environment. Our recruiting team knows exactly what kind of provider is needed – culturally, clinically, and personality-wise – before they even begin recruiting.
2) All Physicians are “onboarded” to RPG through an online EdApp portal through which the provider reviews rural hospital expectations and the right culture of practice to be successful. This method sets up our physicians for success.
3) Each physician is oriented to the hospital that he or she will be joining by the Chief Hospitalist and/or core group physician Regional Medical Director and the location’s Chief Hospitalist. This physician to physician dialogue includes the critical success factors for successful integration to a facility. This enhanced collaboration has proven to be one of the most effective steps in our onboarding process.
4) Regular surveying of both hospitals and physicians: Key hospital stakeholders are routinely surveyed on their experiences with the RPG model. Additionally, physicians are routinely sent surveys gathering information on their hospital environment preferences.
5) Routine Regional Medical Director conversations with each hospital ensure that issues, including provider fit, are addressed swiftly with rectifying measures such as coaching and counseling or simply addressing misunderstandings and miscommunications.
If a Physician proves to be not the “right fit” for a hospital, RPG’s Coaching and Counseling process will be initiated and the physician phased out over 90 days if no improvement is made. The Regional Medical Director and Regional Program Director work closely with hospital leadership to determine initiation of this process and the timing. Likewise, if a physician does not wish to work at a hospital again due to volumes or other reasons, the preferences will be noted and honored. This is a true partnership – so all issues will be addressed whether they are mentioned by the physician or the hospital. This partnership and the balance of honoring both a hospital’s need and a physician’s are the true success factors behind our model.
Cindy Johnson MHA FACHE
Sr. Vice President