Sparrow Health System aligns 500+ physicians in care transformation

Sparrow Health System took the lead in the transition to value—and now has more than 500 physicians on board.

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As the marketplace began to emphasize quality and efficiency, leaders at Sparrow Health System—a five-hospital system in the mid-Michigan area—knew they had to transform the way they delivered care.

Under the advice of a physician-led strategic planning committee, Sparrow enlisted Advisory Board Consulting to help take the first step—align the medical staff. Now, with several other initiatives in play, the system is being recognized across the state of Michigan as a leader in population health management.

Keep reading to see how Sparrow got there (and what’s coming next), and watch the video above to hear leaders reflect on the process.

The solution

To ensure higher quality, better coordination, and more efficient services for patients across care settings, we worked with Sparrow to create Sparrow Care Network, a clinically integrated network (CIN).

“Aligning with physicians is our top priority. Given the changes that are taking place in the marketplace—where there’s an emphasis on value, quality, and efficiency—you have to be aligned with physicians to deliver those.” – Mike Tobin, Director of Operations, Sparrow Physicians Health Network

This physician-led network was established through three broad work streams:

  1. Forming the infrastructure, including governance, policies, operating agreements, and bylaws
  2. Developing a quality improvement program to guide the direction of the network
  3. Recruiting physicians—both independent and employed—into the infrastructure

After creating the CIN, we decided to take value-based care efforts a step further and establish a population health services organization (PHSO). Under this structure, Sparrow Physician Health Plan, Sparrow Care Network, and other partners can purchase care delivery, operational, and technological services like health informatics and population profile reports.

Still in process, we are now working with Sparrow leadership to define the population health value proposition and establish a scalable governance and infrastructure for the PHSO.

The results

Sparrow is delivering better care with remarkable physician participation. Over 500 physicians now participate in Sparrow Care Network, 29 of whom hold leadership positions. We’ve also helped the organization identify 140+ quality initiatives, 55 of which were implemented in the first six months of partnership.

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