Ohio Medical Education Foundation
The Health System Physician Policy and Advocacy Institute
The Ohio Medical Education Foundation (OMEF), in coordination with major health systems in Ohio, are creating the Health System Physician Policy and Advocacy Institute. The Institute’s goal is to create sophisticated, knowledgeable and active physician leaders within hospital systems who will be engaged with the OSMA in order to stay current and provide input/expertise on critical health policy issues as they are being debated and negotiated in the legislative, regulatory and administrative arena.
The Health System Physician Policy and Advocacy Institute builds upon the leadership training efforts where the OSMA partnered with the Ohio Hospital Association to create the Physician Leadership Institute of Ohio (PLIO). The PLIO focused on intensive leadership training for a small cohort of physicians over a year period with several in-person sessions. The proposed initiative will focus the training on policy and advocacy and expand it to a larger number of physicians in the major health systems across the state. The Institute would include an initial on-site (hospital system), day-long program, with subsequent interactive briefings some of which might occur in Columbus in the legislature or regulatory setting. Upon graduation from the Institute, individuals will be part of an alumni group that will help provide ongoing expertise in statewide advocacy efforts and also serve as policy and advocacy champions within their own institutions.
The foundation of the Institute will be built off of recently announced changes to the medical school curriculum that creates a third pillar of medical education – health system science. It will then be customized to the current environment and policymaking process in Ohio. Many of the topics in this curriculum center around policy, economics and strategies/tools to provide care in a value-based system. While medical students will now come out with this basic knowledge, many physicians currently practicing—particularly those in large health systems—have little exposure to these topics nor do they understand how they have the opportunity to impact the decision-making process that will dictate how they can provide care in the future.
The Institute will be piloted in 2017 in the largest health system in Ohio, the Cleveland Clinic, and then expand to at least two additional major health systems in 2018. The goal is to have 50-100 physicians in the first class. While most of the large health systems have in-house staff that focus on the advocacy and policymaking process, most do not have a systematic way to engage their physicians in the process or to connect them with other physician leaders from other practice settings to collectively advocate for the profession and its patients. Through initial immersion and ongoing, sustainable engagement, the Institute will create this dynamic and ultimately spread it across many health systems.