How do we Address the Aging Population and Future Physician Pipeline Needs?
Germane was contacted by a hospital in a rural area to create a strategy that would address their aging physician workforce and develop a strong physician pipeline for the future.
The primary physician groups and hospital-employed physicians have been practicing in the area for a long time and are now reaching retirement age. The health system has not proactively worked to build a physician pipeline and is now facing a growing need. Because the hospital is not a teaching facility, they have not been exposed to new candidates to continue the high-caliber level of care they have provided for decades.
Germane created a strategy that addressed current and future needs and positioned Graduate Medical Education (GME) programs to support the hospital’s mission and vision. A key component of this strategy was developing new GME programs, particularly in areas with projected future physician shortages.
The introduction of residents into the hospital began to build the pipeline for the future, invigorated the current workforce, and brought new perspectives to the medical staff. The organization as a whole underwent a cultural shift to one of a learning organization.
The strategy required some capital investment; however, the ongoing costs were largely offset by the reimbursement from CMS.
THE GERMANE EFFECT
With the implementation of new GME programs, the hospital has developed a system to train and retain future physicians that meet their needs and fit well with their culture. The process of bringing the programs up was well executed as it allowed the tenured, soon to retire physicians to train the next generation of physicians and pass down their patient populations to those they trust. The new GME programs currently have over a 50% retention rate after graduation.