(MAYWOOD, Ill.) November 14, 2008---For those who receive care at Loyola University Health System's (LUHS) hospitals and clinics, the only sign of change may be a one consolidated medical bill instead of two, but for the physicians of Loyola, the Nov. 10 vote to fully integrate their physician practice into the health system will revolutionize their decision-making status at Loyola.
"This is an important step in the health and future growth of our health system," said Dr. Paul K. Whelton, president and CEO of LUHS. "This vote for the Loyola University Physician Foundation (LUPF) to integrate with LUHS will make us a progressively stronger health system with the resources to achieve our academic aspirations."
The integration will elevate physicians' influence and voice in the health system's business operations. Changes include the addition of three physician-held seats on the LUHS Board of Directors; 12 physician representatives on the newly created Health System Leadership Group, which will have control over operations and the physician-compensation plan; and the appointment of a physician as the vice president of clinical affairs -- one who participates in strategic planning for the health system while keeping an eye on physicians' interests.
For its part, LUHS will take over management of accounts receivable and the non-cash assets formerly held by LUPF, which will mean that patients will receive one consolidated bill that is paid to LUHS. The integration also will allow the health system to implement a standardized compensation plan that has been designed to reward physicians who are extremely productive and who can keep costs down, as well as those who can improve quality of care or patient safety.
This integration with the physicians' practice group and the introduction of a more transparent, incentive-oriented method of faculty compensation are two key goals included in the health system's strategic plan, which was approved by the LUHS Board of Directors this past year.
Loyola's vision for the future is to set a new standard of excellence through three core priorities: to promote excellence in clinical care that treats the human spirit, to educate tomorrow's health-care professionals in a tradition of service and to pursue research that improves health in our community and around the globe.