Provider Workforce Planning

Provider workforce development plans should be the foundation of your clinical integration, alignment, and recruiting strategies. Is your medical staff development plan ready to serve that role?

Medical staff planning should be proactive, not just reactive. Accurate, reliable, and strategically sound medical staff development plans are critical to mitigating physician shortages, prioritizing recruitment initiatives, and addressing other competitive and regulatory pressures. While many organizations use workforce planning to justify an existing provider deficit, highly successful organizations adopt a proactive approach to ensure that their communities’ long-term health needs are met and their market position remains strong.

Organizations are increasingly valuing an enterprise-wide alignment strategy; this starts with an understanding of community need.

The results of a solid medical staff development plan support planning decisions regarding physician alignment as an organization determines how to best meet its community need and strategic goals. Employment or recruitment may not always be the preferred or most viable strategy. The process of developing and executing a physician alignment strategy relies on an understanding of the local market trends and the organization’s vision and goals for alignment. While some health systems still evaluate their workforce needs separately from their alignment needs, developing workforce plans utilizing a tightly integrated process typically results in a more efficient and effective organizational strategy.

Developing a high-performing physician network has become increasingly important to managing care coordination and cost.

As healthcare services continue their shift to the ambulatory setting, it is important for organizations to set clear market goals and understand what truly drives their provider network. This can vary by market, with some organizations focused on attributed lives and others on fee-for-service market growth. Robust workforce assessments help organizations identify gaps in coverage and focus their efforts on tangible network development goals. ECG’s provider workforce planning experts have conducted medical staff development plans for hundreds of organizations, and our methodology takes these considerations into account to help organizations develop a viable network strategy that strikes an appropriate balance between primary care access and specialty need while considering the geographic distribution of providers across market regions.

Our core provider workforce planning services include:

  • Provider need assessments, including:
    • Primary care or specialty demand analysis
    • Market demand by geography
    • Service area provider inventories for physicians and advanced practice providers
    • Regulatory/compliance need by specialty
    • Qualitative/experience-based need (e.g., new-appointment wait times, payer access, drive-time analysis)
    • Primary care–to–specialty provider requirement ratios
    • Market demographic modeling
  • Recruitment, retention, and succession planning strategy
  • Hospital-based PSA assessment/development
  • Alignment opportunity identification and prioritization
  • Network planning/network adequacy assessment
  • Medical staff and community assessment tools, including:
    • Facilitated interviews and focus groups
    • Provider/medical staff surveys
    • Stakeholder/patient community surveys
    • Market profiles/opportunity analysis
    • Educational programs on workforce planning and related topics
    • Provider workforce modeling tools
  • Call coverage assessment and planning
  • Community health need assessments

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