Resourceful (and strategic) use of physicians in hospices and palliative care programs has proven to accelerate the success of creating Accountable Palliative Care Organizations (APCOs) in some of our nation's communities (we'll explore several of these success stories in future posts). And while building an APCO is a test of endurance, will, and collaboration, the process of developing an APCO is stalled more frequently by the slow, fitful, and fragmented process of acquiring the palliative medicine "intellectual capital" requisite to an APCO. A Medical Staff Development Plan (MSDP) will serve as a management guide for the alignment of the physician staffing plan with the Hospice strategic plan.
The MSDP will allow a hospice to:
- identify the opportunities and risks of the current medical staff complement relative to the development of a community APCO ;
- define a reasonable range of investment required to meet recruitment needs; and
- demonstrate the strategic and proactive thinking of hospice/palliative service senior leadership to the community, its hospitals, and other key stakeholders.
The MSDP comprises five sections:
- Community Assessment of palliative care practices - identifies improvement opportunities and provides competitive intelligence about peer and neighboring programs,
- Three-Year Staffing Plan - translates community needs into physician staffing requirements and associated financial commitments,
- Responsibility Chart and Professional Performance Profile–these tools enable leadership to systematically identify decisions and activities that must be accomplished and to pinpoint the functions (positions) that will take on roles relevant to those results,
- Compensation Plan –recommends physician compensation models to produce desired physician behavior and translates administrative, supervisory and teaching (AS&T) activities for physicians into fair and reasonable compensation ranges,
- Recruitment Plan - the articulation of "community hospice and palliative care" practice opportunities that attract talent and fill competency gaps.
Securing executive/Board support for building a HPM staff is easier when it's the result of a well-thought out, comprehensive and strategic plan that pegs recruitment to milestones.