Coker Group publishes thought leadership on unique model for physician-hospital alignment

Healthcare reform and other rapid changes in the business of healthcare are making the relationships between hospitals and physicians more important than ever. Coker Group, a national healthcare advisory firm, has been a leader in crafting innovative alignment strategies for hospitals and physicians since 1987. In its latest white paper, Coker Group outlines an integration strategy—called “Employment Lite”—that provides hospitals and physicians with the advantages of closely aligning their economic interests while still retaining future flexibility for both partners.

In “Employment Lite: One Option for Integration and Alignment,” Coker Group describes a new kind of relationship between hospitals and physician practices, giving hospital and physician practice executives another pathway to consider in this crucial strategic area.

“Employment of physicians is still an appropriate strategy in many cases,” said Max Reiboldt, Coker Group’s president and CEO, a nationally recognized speaker on hospital-physician alignment. “But hospitals and physician practices have a more flexible option to form a relationship that is almost as tightly aligned as employment.”

A Professional Services Agreement—or PSA—can offer a big advantage over employment, as the white paper details. Physicians retain the ability to return to private practice because PSAs leave in place some form of the group practice entity. The physicians don’t face the difficult task of reviving their management infrastructure if they are unhappy with their alignment arrangement.

For hospitals, PSAs can be an effective way to closely integrate with physician practices that are reluctant to enter into an employment relationship. PSAs also can be an intermediate step toward ownership of a practice, after both partners have become more comfortable with the relationship.

Compared with employment, PSAs also provide more latitude to customize the arrangement to suit the needs of individual hospitals or health systems and physician practices. The white paper details four different PSA models—Global Payments, Practice Management Arrangements, Traditional PSAs and Hybrid PSAs—and the many aspects that can be customized within each.

To download the white paper and read more of Coker Group’s thought leadership, visit

About Coker Group

Coker Group is a national healthcare advisory firm that helps hospitals and medical practices implement business strategies that rapidly improve the bottom line. For more than 20 years, hundreds of the nation’s largest healthcare organizations, as well as local provider businesses, have trusted Coker Group with their success. Coker Group is headquartered near Atlanta in Alpharetta, Ga., with offices in Dallas and Philadelphia. To learn more, visit