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PHYSICIAN VISITS: Same day appointments with specialists

It is more common for health care providers to offer same-day visits to primary care physicians, but at least one health system is also offering same-day visits to specialists on a large-scale basis.  Allegheny Health Network (Pittsburgh, PA), an 8-hospital system with 250 outpatient clinics, started to offer this option in January 2017.  In the first few months, there have been 36,000 patients who scheduled a same-day appointment, with about one-third seeing specialists.  Patient satisfaction with this option is reported as being very high.


Castellucci, M. (2017, April 3). Offering same-day doc visits. Modern Healthcare, 47(14), 32.  Click here for link to publisher: http://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20170401/MAGAZINE/304019981

The Advisory Board. (2017, February 28). The 5 lessons Allegheny Health Network learned from offering same-day specialist appointments. The Daily Briefing. Click here: https://www.advisory.com/daily-briefing/2017/02/28/allegheny-specialist-same-day

Venteicher, W. (2017, January 19). Allegheny Health Network to schedule same-day doctors’ appointments. Trib Live.  Click here: http://triblive.com/news/healthnow/11804612-74/appointments-health-patients

Allegheny Health Network website has some FAQs about this service here: https://www.ahn.org/same-day

Posted by AHA Resource Center (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

Top 25 Integrated Health Systems – 2015 Update

SK&A has released its annual ranking of the largest integrated health systems. Based on the most facilities — hospitals, medical offices and groups, and nursing homes — the top five on the list are:

  1. Ascension Health – 2069 facilities
  2. Community Health System Inc. – 2038 facilities
  3. HCA Inc. – 1569 facilities
  4. Trinity Health – 1323 facilities
  5. Kaiser Permanente – 1005 facilities

Community Health System has the most hospitals – 207- but just announced it was spinning off 38 of its rural facilities to a newly independent subsidiary. Ascension Health has the most medical offices or groups [1890], while Kaiser Permanente has the largest number of physicians [8704]. Ascension Health is also the integrated system with the most nursing homes [43].


Top 25 integrated health systems; SK&A Market Insight Report, August 2015. http://www.skainfo.com/reports/top-integrated-health-systems [free registration may be needed]

Brino A. Community Health Systems spins off 38 rural hospitals to focus on regional networks. HealthcareFinance.com, Aug. 3, 2015. http://www.healthcarefinancenews.com/news/spin-lets-community-health-systems-focus-regional-networks

AHA Resource Center (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

Guidance for hospitals who own medical practices

A new book from AHA Press is designed to help hospital executives whose organizations own medical practices and employ primary care and specialty physicians, as well as those in organizations seeking to expand their business. Owning Medical Practices identifies best practices in the development of sustainable strategies, operations, and financial viability.

The publication also provides a number of templates and self-evaluation tools including:

  • Role Description for Network Operations Council Chairperson
  • Sample Communication Matrix
  • Physician Candidate Questionnaire
  • Specialist of Choice Practice Evaluation
  • Medical Practice Clinical Productivity Evaluation
  • Potential Requirements for Mission-Critical Applications
  • Initial Offer of Employment Terms Sheet
  • Physician Practice Start-Up Action Plan Summary
  • Site-Specific Action Plan

For more information, see https://www.associationstores.org/OA_HTML/ibeCCtpItmDspRte.jsp?section=10120&item=5520

Source: Halley, M. D. Owning Medical Practices: Best Practices for Sustainable Results. Chicago: AHA Press, 2011.