Webinar Series – The Health System-Physician Relationship Continuum: What Boards Need to Know

Posted 4/7/16 in Articles

Health systems and physicians must continue to find ways to develop sustainable working relationships that provide a highly reliable basis for future growth. It is important to apply collaborative strategies in appropriate ways to advance and deepen these critical relationships.  Health care organizations should continually assess the physician relationship continuum in a thoughtful, mutually beneficial, and collaborative manner that provides for effective on-boarding, retention, high-quality patient experiences and outcomes, clinical innovation, and transition of leadership.

This three-part webinar series, produced in partnership with the AHA’s Center for Healthcare Governance, addresses the Board’s role throughout the continuum, ensuring a healthy, collaborative, and transparent relationship. The series highlights how the Board can be involved with:

•Strengthening the recruitment process of key physicians
•Effectively onboarding physicians
•Implementing retention strategies
•Ensuring the health system – physician relationship is nurtured at the critical career stages
•Planning for clinical transitions and ensuring organizational continuity

Presenter:  Alexander Yaffe – President & CEO, Yaffe & Company

Who Will Benefit:
•Governing boards
•CEOs and other senior executives
•Clinical leaders
•Staff who coordinate and support governing board activities.

A Convenient Tool for Board Development:
This pre-recorded webinar series offers the flexibility of on-demand viewing by individual executives and trustees or by full governing boards as an educational resource during board and committee meetings, retreats or orientation sessions. Boards are encouraged to consider the webinar content in the context of their own situations and needs.

How to obtain:
To obtain the any of the webinar recordings, follow the link below (registration required). Note: If you are having trouble accessing any of the webinars, clear your browsing history and then click on the link again.

Recruiting the Next Generation of Hospital Leaders

Posted 1/9/16 in Articles

The consultants at Yaffe & Company discuss recent CEO turnover rate trends in the healthcare industry and explain the necessary steps organizations must take to recruit the next generation of effective hospital leaders.

As hospitals and other healthcare providers aim to consolidate and merge, the turnover rate of CEOs within the healthcare industry continues to grow. According to the American College of Healthcare Executives, CEO turnover reached 18 percent in 2014, one of the highest rates in 15 years.

This developing trend within the industry has initiated a fundamental shift in executive recruitment strategies at hospitals and other healthcare organizations. As one CEO steps down, or is let go after a merger, it is imperative that the newly formed organization work quickly to determine what qualities they want in their future leaders.

The current revolving door of healthcare CEOs has put a greater emphasis on many organizations to reassess and potentially redefine their overall mission, ideals and core values. In many ways, recruiters are assembling a “legacy team” of future executives for their organizations. The focus is now on getting potential leaders to “buy in” to the long-term goals of the organization, rather than the objectives of the current CEO’s regime.

New leaders in the industry must be flexible and maintain an open-mindedness that was not necessarily essential in the past. This new generation of healthcare executives will be composed of creative thinkers and informed professionals with a broad set of abilities. Many organizations will seek leaders with expertise in information technology, as the impact of technology in the healthcare environment continues to grow exponentially.

Clinical experience has also become heavily valued within the industry. As a result, healthcare systems will also look to increasingly develop physicians into administrative leaders to assume more influential, managerial roles.

Creating a comprehensive succession plan for all members of an organization’s senior management is a key step in ensuring smooth executive transitions in the future. When developing a strong team, it is important for hospitals to build meaningful bench strength throughout all levels of operation.

In order to identify prospective leaders within an organization, hospitals must conduct a thorough internal evaluation. A search of this manner will allow organizations to identify the talent currently on hand and allow the Board of Directors to grasp a better understanding of what leadership skills are needed from the outside to effectively compliment their internal leaders.

By keeping these strategies in mind, your organization will have a leg up during the recruitment process of the healthcare industry’s most qualified and inventive leaders of the future.

For more information on current management trends in the healthcare industry and effective recruiting strategies for your own healthcare organization, contact the consultants at Yaffe & Company today.

Alexander Yaffe Quoted in Washington Post Article About High Costs in Higher Education

Posted 12/7/15 in Articles

Alexander C. Yaffe, president and CEO of Yaffe & Company, was quoted in a recent Washington Post article regarding the correlation between college leaders’ salaries and rising tuition costs, which is a topic frequently addressed by Donald Trump.

Mr. Trump noted, “You look at the salaries paid to the heads of colleges, it’s like they’re running a business — a real business, a big business…and we have to stop, we have to stop that from happening.”

“I don’t believe that presidential salaries in not-for-profit higher education are what is driving our cost issues,” said Mr. Yaffe. “Even though it’s a non-for-profit organized for the purpose of education, there still needs to be management principles, to operate profitably, build their endowment, invest for the future .. there is a degree of business acumen that is needed to make them sustainable.”

Read the article in its entirety here.

For more information about the consulting services Yaffe & Company provides, please visit our website or contact us today.

Request Yaffe & Company’s Exclusive AHA Monograph about the Health System-Physician Relationship

Posted 11/9/15 in Articles

Alexander C. Yaffe, president and CEO of Yaffe & Company, recently produced a monograph for the American Hospital Association’s (AHA) Center for Healthcare Governance titled, “The Health System-Physician Relationship Continuum: What Boards need to Know.”

In this publication, Mr. Yaffe covers an area of healthcare organization management and progression that many experts and have not yet addressed, while also showcasing it in a different light. Mr. Yaffe writes that enhancing relationships and alliances among physicians and health care organizations is part of a sequence that can create and effectively sustain these relationships for the long-term.

To support this philosophy, he examines the role of health system boards in recruiting and retaining quality physicians, evaluating physician compensation and performance, and planning for the retirement, transition and succession of clinical leadership. Mr. Yaffe proceeds by analyzing several case studies and explaining several actions healthcare organizations and physicians can take to positively impact the magnitudes and depths of effective relationships. These actions include but are not limited to developing expectations, exuding transparency and engagement, and conducting performance evaluations.

If you would like to request a copy of this monograph directly from Yaffe & Company, please click here. For more information about the consulting services Yaffe & Company provides, please visit our website.

Seven Considerations for Establishing Executive Compensation Programs at Independent Colleges & Universities

Posted 10/28/15 in Articles

Determining the compensation for the president of a university is one of the most strenuous and challenging tasks facing today’s institutions of higher education, especially during this period of increased scrutiny and pressure. If you underpay your university president, you risk the inability to attract or retain top talent. If you overpay your president, you could face accusations of overspending and unfairly favoring university leadership above other stakeholders. The weight of this process is only intensified by the concerns of those who have their own legitimate interests in higher education institutions – the government, alumni, press, faculty, donors, students and parents.

Due to the ever-increasing availability of financial forms such as IRS Form 990, on which private institutions must report, as well as the escalated inclination for the media to report on these matters, a university president’s compensation package is likely to become a topic of discussion. Justified or not, some form of scrutiny is likely to follow, so the importance of maintaining a healthy balance in this area cannot be overstated. How can you ensure that your institution’s presidential compensation package does not break under the examination of legal or regulatory restraints?

Here are seven helpful tips for governing boards to utilize when developing an executive compensation package that is compliant with the law and befitting of your university’s philosophy:

Adopt an Executive Compensation Philosophy

An executive compensation philosophy sets forth the principal objectives and guidelines of the institution’s executive compensation program. The guidelines will serve as the parameters for decision-making and should set forth the targeted market percentile placement. The philosophy will guide the deliberations and decisions, and maintain consistency over time.

Designate a Responsible Committee

Creating a separate committee solely dedicated to determining compensation is a useful way to delegate authority and visibly deal with the sensitive process. The committee should adopt a charter addressing the committee’s mission and purpose, delegated authority, membership and expertise, accountability, meeting frequency, documentation requirements and responsibilities. Members should include the Board Chair and individuals who possess industry knowledge, business expertise and be free from direct or indirect conflicts of interest.

Select a Defensible Peer Group and Obtain Appropriate Compensation Comparability Data

It is important to consider a number of factors when selecting comparable institutions to help determine a president’s pay. Some of these variables include, but are not limited to, the size of the institution as measured by the operating budget, student enrollment, endowment, faculty size, Carnegie classification, geography, cost of attendance, incoming student academics, retention and graduation rates. It is important to ensure that the identified peers are reflective of your institution today, but also consider tomorrow.

Once the appropriate comparative market peer group has been identified, the committee should obtain and use appropriate compensation comparability data in making executive compensation decisions.

Take Part in Evaluations and Measure Performance

The most effective boards regularly assess executive performance on both subjective and objective measures.  A direct annual evaluation by board members on presidential performance provides a basis for enhanced understanding and an ability for the board and leadership to move the organization forward together. Senior leaders must also translate the institutions mission and long range strategic plan into annual work plans that identify specific, measurable goals to be accomplished and address the objective performance of the executive. This is typically referred to as incentive or variable pay.

Educate and Seek Full Board Review and Approval

An important responsibility of the committee is to offer a full written report on its analysis and recommendations to the board and seek its approval. It is every board member’s fiduciary duty to ensure that the process has been compliant with regulations and has produced an end product consistent with fair market value.

Document, Document, Document

Adequate records documenting the basis for compensation decisions is crucial to the establishment of the rebuttable presumption of reasonableness under I.R.C. § 4958 and are consistently part of IRS document requests. This documentation most often takes the form of meeting minutes.

Avoid Headlines for the Wrong Reasons

To help avoid making headlines for the wrong reasons, institutions are wise to be informative, yet distinct in how they set presidential compensation. A communications strategy should be developed which compiles the necessary information and presents it in a clear, concise and transparent way.  The message should support and substantiate the Form 990 information, consultants’ reports and market comparisons.

For more information about creating an effective executive compensation process, contact the consultants at Yaffe & Company.

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