100H—A Grassroots Approach to Change Management: Implementing Sound Governance and Physician Leadership Structure

Wednesday, March 30th

About the Session

In 2019, Samaritan Health Services (SHS) and Samaritan Medical Group (SMG) leadership realized they urgently needed to engage in a comprehensive redesign of their 80 employed primary care and medical/surgical specialty physician groups to improve collaboration, engagement, accountability, and overall financial health. They decided to embark on a multidisciplinary and broad-ranging set of projects to optimize medical group performance, including design of governance and management structure, design and implementation of access to care, redesign of care model, EHR personalization, and an Annual Wellness Visit tool installation to boost preventative services.

Running multiple projects simultaneously, Samaritan leadership partnered with Optum Advisory Services to implement rigorous change management strategies. They were challenged by pandemic-related delays, area forest fires, and staff turnover, but they focused on implementing a sound governance and physician leadership structure for a grassroots approach to change management

Samaritan leadership partnered with Optum Advisory Services to assess the previous governance structure within the medical group, and identified several areas for improvements to provide a smooth runway for further work, including designing and facilitating a leadership retreat, optimizing clinical and administrative reporting, and establishing an organizational structure and job descriptions that allow staff to operate at top of license.

As a result, Samaritan has implemented physician/provider compensation redesign to reward providers for their work. SMG has also improved access to care for patients, implemented a sound governance structure with physician leadership roles and clear responsibilities. SMG strongly values top-of-license practice for all clinical roles and invested time and resources for primary care workflow redesign that will enhance clinician-facing time and after-hours “pajama time” driving improvements in provider and clinical team satisfaction. Standardizing provider templates to correlate to the new contract arrangements was also paramount for success in improving access to care.

Learning Objectives:

  • Discover how SHS created a physician governance and leadership structure that supported multiple optimization projects for employed medical groups.
  • Explore how to apply intentional agility to enable health systems to quickly and successfully navigate provisional decisions and disruption.


Presented By

Laurie Norman, APRN

Senior Director, Optum Advisory Services

Michele Molden

Vice President, Provider Advisory Services
Optum Advisory Services

Robert (Bob) Turngren, MD

Chief Medical Officer
Samaritan Health Services