Coker Connection

Coker Connection is Coker’s premier monthly newsletter. It’s a great way to stay on top of the latest news going on in healthcare and always features two new articles by different Coker consultants. To view the most recent articles, they are included below for download.

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Direct to Employer Contracting Arrangements – A Response to Rising Premiums and Compromised Care

By Ellis “Mac” Knight, MD, MBA, Senior Vice President/CMO | Coker Group

healthcare consulting firm specialist

An increasing number of self-insured employers face rising premiums and real, or perceived, cutbacks in quality of care from their health insurance carriers. In response, providers themselves are stepping into the breach and offering direct to employer (DTE) contracting for the provision of healthcare services.

Provider entities (hospitals, health systems, and clinically integrated networks (CINs) of providers) are offering the following services to employers through DTE arrangements.

Read more.

Patient Access

By Debbie Kiehl, FACMPE, CRCR, Senior Manger | Coker Group

The purpose of this paper is to pinpoint how the lack of scheduling templates and standardization/ integration impedes patient access within the healthcare entity. In fact, the myopia of not looking beyond the scheduling component of patient access limits a patient’s ability to schedule appointments in a timely and effective manner. Further, schedule standardization (where possible, owing to specialties) and integration play a significant role in patient satisfaction. Conversely, limited, blocked, or ineffective templates restricting patient access to providers is a dissatisfier. Now that patients are paying for a substantial share of their care, their expectations, whether right or wrong, are that they will see their providers when they need or want to. Patients are no longer willing to wait weeks to secure an appointment with their provider. Practices now must find ways to offer flexibility and timely appointments to patients while providing excellent quality care and patient satisfaction.

Read more.


Past Coker Connection Newsletters

  • Physician Compensation Governance: Building a Good Foundation
  • Find, Develop, and Retain Successful Executive Leaders – A Three-Pronged Approach!
  • Front-End Patient Collections: Where the Rubber Meets the Road
  • Strategic Planning for Healthcare Systems and Practices
  • 2018 Updates to MACRA
  • Achieve Quality Improvement through IT Integration
  • The Dangers of an Unstable IT Infrastructure
  • Where’s the Value in Physician Practice Valuation
  • Practice Optimization: An Argument for Spending More
  • The Real Value of Executive Search
  • Four Areas to Incorporate in Your Hospital Service Line Strategic Planning
  • Long-Term Value Creation Through Effective Post-Merger Integration (And how football teams aren’t that different from hospitals pursing successful transaction strategies.)
  • Coding Compliance and wRVUs: What Lurks Beneath the Surface?
  • Coker IT Assessments: What’s Involved?
  • Relationship Status with Productivity-Based Compensation: It’s Complicated
  • Conflict Management and Successful Leadership
  • Coker ValuePathServices: Successfully Navigate the Path to Value
  • Revenue Cycle Management: It’s More Than You Think
  • Five Steps to Building a “MACRA Ready” Physician Compensation Plan
  • The Increasing Demands on Internal Recruitment Departments
  • Spring Is a Good Time to Clean Up Your Vendor Contracts
  • The Value of Clinical Documentation Improvement
  • Smoothing the Rough Spots in Patient Flow in Outpatient Practices
  • MACRA’s Medicare Part B Payments Under MIPS
  • Leadership Development and Succession Planning
  • Myth of the Median
  • Interim Management: Allow Your Organization Time to Find Expert Leadership
  • Cyber Security Lessons from 2016 and Trends for 2017


  • Information Technology: A Competitive Necessity or A Competitive Advantage?
  • Benchmarking to Perfection
  • The Effect of the Election on the Healthcare Industry
  • External Value-Based Incentives: What Should You Do With Them?
  • The Importance of Accurate Cost Accounting in Healthcare Delivery
  • A Reflection on Coding and Compliance Changes
  • Prepare Your Organization for Unexpected Leadership Gaps
  • Navigating the Documentation of Community Need
  • Creating Balance between Clinical Needs and Cyber Security Policies
  • Alignment Deal-Making: Keys to a Successful Transaction
  • MACRA and MIPS in Physician Practice Valuations
  • Identifying and Retaining Leadership Talent
  • MU will Soon be a MIPS – Why and What do you need to Know?
  • The First Step on the Road to Value: The Coker ValuePath Assessment
  • Harmony – MD
  • wRVUs: Are Yours Accurate
  • Credentialing: The First Step to Revenue
  • Developing a Physician Leadership Strategy
  • Too Little? Not Too Late!
  • Bridging the Gap from Fee-for-Service to Fee-for-Value (without Losing Your Mind)
  • Physician Documentation: My, How Times Have Changed!
  • A Strategic Systematic Approach to Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA): A Living Plan for Your Community Health Improvement
  • Mitigating Organizational Stress
  • When and How to Convert to another EHR
  • Do M&A Deals Really Result in Long-Term Value Creation? Increasing Your Odds of Success