Data Insights

Strategic plans can help guide medical groups in the short and long term


Business Strategy

A successful strategic plan provides direction to medical groups and often lays the groundwork for determining where the group is going, whether it will expand in terms of services and providers, with whom it may affiliate or align, when it will implement key technologies or initiatives and a host of other critical issues. Almost every public company and the majority of private companies have strategic plans.

In a recent MGMA Stat poll, 58% of healthcare leaders indicated that their organization has a 12-month strategic plan in place, while 37% do not and the remaining 5% were unsure. The results are similar to those from the same poll in both 2016 and 2017. 

Those who have a 12-month strategic plan in place noted their tactics to stay on target include reviewing monthly financial statements and evaluating progress quarterly, ongoing project tracking and management and using dashboards with updated metrics for routine review and assessment. In addition, many respondents expressed the importance of regular communication with their team and leaders to stay on track with their strategic plan.

Given the increased complexities of running medical groups and the unsettled state of affairs in the broader healthcare landscape, it's more important than ever for medical groups to have strategic plans that guide them through both the short and long term. Otherwise, groups operate under crisis management, during which time decisions are based on the flavor of the month or input from the vocal minority rather than a rational, well-thought out process based on market data, financial data and input from important stakeholders. Groups should identify what they want to accomplish in the next 12-months.  Additionally, if the group wants to merge with another group, become employed by another entity, purchase a piece of major medical equipment or enter into a joint venture with another group - these issues need a planned approach to ensure the best outcome.

A 12-month strategic plan should provide direction to the group to help them accomplish certain objectives during the year. There are tremendous benefits to developing a strategic plan.

Nick A. Fabrizio, PhD, FACMPE, FACHE
MGMA Consulting 

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