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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Physician Compensation Governance: Building a Good Foundation

By Stephen Ross, MHA, FHFMA, CMPE, Senior Manager | Coker Group

Many hospitals and healthcare systems have seen year-over-year growth during the past decade in the number of employed physicians and advanced practice providers, sparked by the gradual shift to value-based reimbursement. According to the 2016 American Medical Association Physician Benchmark Survey, over 50% of family practice physicians in the United States are employees of a hospital or wholly-owned subsidiary. The same holds true for physicians that practice in a multispecialty setting, with direct employment trends expected to continue over the next few years.

As physician networks grow, questions of compensation governance arise, frequently in direct proportion to the size and complexity of the network. Organizations have adopted various approaches to their physician compensation governance and related compensation models to align physician stakeholders with the goals of value-based care. Organizations such as Mayo Clinic, The Cleveland Clinic, and Kaiser Permanente have largely standardized their compensation philosophy and found success putting employed physicians on a fixed salary as a means to reduce the over-treatment of patients and incentivize quality of care and administrative efficiency. More commonly, community-based healthcare systems seek to align employed physician compensation by ensuring compensation plans reflect the organization’s risk relative to at-risk quality performance reimbursement. Thus, given the dynamic nature of healthcare reimbursement and the associated physician compensation arrangements, organizations are best served when physician compensation is proactively managed within the framework of a high-functioning physician compensation governance structure. Below, we explore three elements of physician compensation governance: (1) the Compensation Committee, (2) the Compensation Policy, and the Compensation Plan.

Read more.

Find, Develop, and Retain Successful Executive Leaders – A Three-Pronged Approach!

By Lee Perrett, Vice President | Coker Group

The demand for capable, visionary, and competent leadership is increasingly intense during this season of unprecedented change in the healthcare industry. An organization’s ability to hire, develop, and retain solid executive leaders is a leading differentiator in today’s healthcare marketplace and may be the basis of the success of the organization.

Read more.



Past Coker Connection Newsletters

  • 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