The IPA should be driven by a published philosophy shared with all members of the association. In addition, it is a good policy for an IPA to include member physicians in all phases of planning and goal setting delineated by the Board. The following is a sample list of an IPA commitment to establishing a philosophy and setting goals. This example is meant to provide an example of how an IPA might address these issues and is not meant to be all-inclusive.

The following goals have been determined to need agreement:

The organization will have the primary purpose of maintaining the overall quality of patient care and continuing the principles of its physicians as well as the organizations with which it contracts.

The organization will be developed to assist the physicians who orient their practices to the appropriate care of patients including relations with other care providers, attention to issues relating to the managed care environment and viable alternatives, and the development of appropriate protocols and standards of care.

The organizational activities can initially be supported by the interim support team to assure that the right long term team is selected to further build appropriate infrastructure in a cost effective and efficient manner.

A philosophy will be fostered to enhance the efforts of the private attending medical staff to reorient their practices, should it be their desire and intent, to be better positioned to take advantage of market-based initiatives.

The organization will direct a coordinated information effort to assure its membership the most accurate and timely information is available in order to allow the group, or individual members of the group, to make appropriate quality decisions. Requests for information and proposals will be coordinated with the assistance of the interim team.

The organization will coordinate the efforts of the private attending staff, the contracted physicians who are not IPA members, contracted hospitals, and other providers, to meeting the IPA goals while adhering to its philosophy.

The organization will design programs and services to reach beyond the managed care marketplace and institute projects which directly service institutional health care consumers (direct contracting) in ways which are innovative and competitive. This may include the direct provision of services, innovative pricing strategies, coordinated (bundled) service arrangements, etc.

The organization will develop patient centered and program sensitive collateral services such as quality assurance, TQM or CQI, utilization review, survey processes, satisfaction and outcome indicators, comparative efficiency studies, disease management initiatives, etc., to assist its membership in their collective efforts to provide quality care while gaining access to quality contracts.

The organization will act on behalf of its members to assure that this group of independent practicing physicians is aligned with appropriate other provider groups, insurance carriers, business coalitions, governmental bodies, as well as regional, state and national groups who can assist the members in furthering their goals.

The organization will sponsor practice oriented projects such as support staffing or practice information systems to assist the membership in the achievement of their practice objectives where these projects also promote the overall organizational objectives.

The organization will assume the role of a coordinating body on behalf of its membership to assist in developing the information base necessary to assume a myriad of services and approaches.

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