About Sue Anderson

Since joining the firm in 2004, Sue has focused on strategic planning, with a particular interest in cardiovascular (CV) services. She leads ECG’s CV Services Affinity Group, which is devoted to promoting the firm’s thought leadership in the field of cardiac services. Sue spearheaded ECG’s CV governance and leadership survey initiative with Thomson Reuters and led the development of "Strategies for Superior Cardiovascular Service Line Performance," a book published by HealthLeaders Media. She has extensive experience in programmatic development, CV service line strategic planning, hospital/physician alignment, physician workforce planning, and financial analysis. Prior to joining ECG, Sue worked for Arthur Andersen LLP in its healthcare litigation consulting practice. She holds a master of business administration degree from the UCLA Anderson School of Management and bachelor’s degrees in English and finance from the University of Richmond.

Best Practices for Addressing Your Community Health Needs Assessment

The intent of the community health needs assessment (CHNA) mandate is to compel hospitals to take a collaborative approach to addressing the health needs of their communities.  Based on the findings of the CHNA, the hospitals must create and deploy an implementation plan, referred to as a community health improvement plan (CHIP), to address each identified need. Continue reading

A Strategic Approach to Addressing Your Community Health Needs Assessment

With the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), all not-for-profit, nongovernmental hospitals must complete a 3-year community health needs assessment (CHNA) by the end of FY 2013.   The cost of noncompliance is high – hospitals face a $50,000 excise tax for each year their CHNA remains outstanding and could even lose their not-for-profit status.

It may be a regulatory mandate, but the CHNA also gives hospitals an opportunity to pursue their mission and expand their presence, identifying the needs of the community and how they intersect with the organization’s strategic plan.  Savvy senior leadership teams will use the CHNA process to focus on population-based healthcare efforts, which are vital in the post-ACA healthcare market.

Central to the premise of the ACA is the notion that “health” goes beyond the traditional provision of care in a hospital setting.  In this new context Continue reading

Physician Integration – Clinical Coordination Priorities: Physician Leaders and Care Coordinators

The ultimate goal of physician acquisitions is enhanced coordination of care and integration across the care continuum.  The sad reality is that most providers currently share very little clinical information with each other.  Diagnostic and/or therapeutic information from one location or encounter is often unavailable to others who treat the patient at another location.  In developing a physician network, the coordination of care is too often deferred until “later” because physicians and management are not comfortable with how to proceed.

First, it should be recognized that clinical integration is different than economic integration.  Clinical integration requires different operational activities and decision-making approaches than those of typical hospital systems.  It should start with Continue reading

Physician Integration – Network Expansion Priorities: Marketing, Sales, and Planning

In our last post, we discussed the increase in physician integration and defined the four phases of successful integration. This post will focus on the first phase of integration:  Network Expansion and associated priorities.

Most commonly, hospitals’ early acquisitions are opportunistic purchases of primary care practices, key specialists who are close to retirement, or practices in need of financial rescue. Hospitals frequently scoop up the practices with the intent to figure out the best ways to grow and manage the network at some future date. This acquisition phase is both necessary and appropriate, as a fully developed network takes time and collaborative effort to create. Regardless of the initial reasons to employ physicians, as hospitals move forward, the reality is that the competitive environment and payor requirements get more complex, and the pressure to grow the network intensifies. Whether it involves primary care physicians or specialists, hospitals cannot let their admitters be recruited by competitors and must bring needed providers and services into the network. Growing a network entails Continue reading