Clinical Integration and Business Recovery

May 27, 2020  |  Mike Eaton


New Business Competencies to Protect Network Continuity

Coronavirus will be a persistently disruptive presence in American life until a vaccine is deployed. Every clinically integrated network planning exercise should start with that statement.

There is not an “all clear” moment immediately ahead of us. Instead there is a “proceed with caution” sign that will periodically flash from yellow to red and back again, but never fully to green until a vaccine is available. Instead, for health care providers, the new normal will be defined by a complex set of variables including supply chain limitations, testing capacity, staffing challenges, patient perceptions of risk, and a deteriorating payer mix.

Navigating this complex web of challenges is a daunting task for hospitals with ample planning resources and the liquidity to weather an extended downturn. It is an almost overwhelming challenge for physician practices that are staffed lean and lacking the reserves to survive cash-flow disruptions.

Clinically integrated networks have an important role to play in helping physicians recover business and margin. Arguably, providing that guidance is a matter of survival for the network itself, as critical capacity to manage lives and deliver high value care is at risk if practices start to fail.

We believe network leaders should be ramping up capabilities in three core areas to support member physician business recovery while we wait for approval and deployment of a vaccine:

  1. Customer Insight
    Use consumer surveys to gain insight into changing perceptions of health care as a sector, and hospitals and physicians specifically. This insight will help practices shape messaging to their panels and create service experiences to credibly address concerns about risk and exposure.
  2. Triage and Routing Support
    Helping people know whether and how soon to be seen for care, and routing them to appropriate virtual, in-person and in-home resources for their care can both build customer confidence in safe treatment options and optimize capacity in the clinics. Networks can provide common platforms for this triage function and use it to support smart patient routing.
  3. Mutual Aid Supply Chain Models
    The integrity of most networks depends on the performance of interdependent practices. Networks that can help surge resources – equipment, staff and even office space – among member practices can play a vital role in ensuring better community outcomes and overall contract performance.

BVK Health has invested time into thinking through these centralized network functions and can help facilitate a provocative and productive conversation around your network leadership table. To learn more, download our new e-book, Fractured, and join us for one of our Fractured Webinars we will be hosting. Click on a date option below to register:


Mike Eaton
is a Senior VP at BVK

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