Perspectives

Taking Smart Steps Toward Clinical Integration

An alternative to physician employment

T​he race is on in the ramp-up to value-based care. Health systems can prepare by affiliating with physicians through a clinically integrated network (CIN). Using the right approach to build a CIN puts hospitals and health systems in a position to capitalize on the benefits of the CIN business model.

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A clinically integrated network (CIN) offers an increasingly attractive alternative to physician employment for accelerating the shift from volume- to value-based care delivery and payment models.

This article highlights the advantages and characteristics of a CIN as well as questions to ask when establishing or extending a CIN. It explores five key steps which can help providers build an effective CIN that complements its employed physicians:

  • Establish the operating model and implementation timeline
  • Identify who to include
  • Define what's in it for the physicians
  • Agree on the tenets that will make the CIN stick
  • Understand when to say no

Strategically developing a clinically integrated network can positively affect a health system’s financial performance, improve care quality and patient outcomes, and accelerate readiness for value-based payment. The CIN model is an alternative to physician employment.

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