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Understanding Alignment for Cardiologists and Health Systems in a Changing Environment

Understanding Alignment For Cardiologists Web

2020 has been a dynamic year for healthcare, highlighted by significant regulatory changes, innovation in care delivery, and of course, COVID-19. This upheaval is expected to continue into 2021, particularly in cardiology services. For instance, the addition of cardiovascular coronary interventional and catheterization procedures to the Medicare ASC approved list accelerates the risk for the migration of cardiology procedures to new sites of service, particularly the hybrid OBL/ASC setting. The proposed removal of the Medicare inpatient only list may also encourage hospital systems to develop an ambulatory strategy sooner rather than later. At the same time, COVID-19 has financially burdened many cardiologists, who may be looking for opportunities to stabilize their professional compensation and practice finances. For many organizations, this drumbeat of disruption may mean it’s time to develop an alignment strategy.

ECG recently hosted a Becker’s Cardiology virtual forum, Navigating the Opportunities in Cardiology and ASCs,” which explored the impact of the migration of cardiology services to ambulatory settings, and specifically highlighted the impact on physician alignment and partnerships. While hospital systems and cardiologists may have considered alignment/partnerships in the past, the current challenges facing cardiology make the need for some form of cooperation more urgent. Below are several alignment options, ranging from purely transactional to completely integrated, that may help hospitals and cardiologists better achieve their partnership goals.

Reevaluating Your Options

Recent market changes are compelling both hospitals and physicians to take a fresh look at these alignment options and consider new partnerships. Hospitals and cardiologists must consider many factors when making alignment decisions. These decisions should be made as part of a disciplined process that helps both parties achieve their long-term strategic goals. A rigorous evaluation process is more likely to yield a successful outcome, so it is critical that all parties invest the right resources in evaluating and deciding on the right partnership for them.

Need help navigating alignment opportunities?

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