The Importance of Provider Needs Assessments (PNA)
By Ron Vance, Maryann Wolf, and Jaclyn Zurawski
Well-aligned physician-hospital affiliations continue to rank as one of the most important success factors for health systems and physician organizations alike. As professional fee reimbursement continues to be pressured, some physicians have migrated to health system employment to seek a “safe” alternative to private practice, while others are pursuing alternative models to capture revenue streams, often competing directly with hospitals.
Because of these and other changing market dynamics, a thoughtful and proactive physician resource strategy is of utmost importance. A key component of any physician-hospital strategy is a strong understanding of physician resource needs for service areas, along with a process to achieve strategic and programmatic goals. Several physician resource strategy options exist, ranging from straightforward physician community needs assessments based on a strategic or Stark Law-compliant service area, to broader strategic physician network plans with a physician integration/alignment focus.