The Importance of a CMO: It's a Big Job!

Traditionally, the chief medical officer (CMO) position was held by an older, well-respected physician, who no longer clinically practiced and, instead, served as a liaison between the hospital administration and the organized medical staff. In recent years, as the healthcare industry faced a time of unprecedented change, the CMO position has had to evolve. The CMO of today is more likely to be a younger physician with demonstrable leadership skills, both on the clinical side and in administrative roles.

The job description of a CMO has also changed, and the position  is more likely today to include the responsibility for the following matters:

  1. Quality and patient safety programs within a hospital or healthcare system.
  2. Certification and regulatory compliance with organizations such as The Joint Commission and the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services.
  3. Clinical documentation improvement and professional coding activities.
  4. Cost control initiatives, especially related to the clinical utilization of big-ticket items within a hospital, e.g., pharmaceuticals, OR supplies, and IT systems.
  5. Clinical integration to include the development of a clinically integrated network that can function effectively within value-based reimbursement models, e.g., Medicare Advantage, Medicare's Shared Savings Program, Commercial ACOs, and Government or Commercial Bundled Payment Programs.
  6. Medical staff affairs that encompass oversight of the privileging and credentialing activities of the medical staff office.
  7. Medical staff recruitment and retention through a variety of mechanisms comprising medical staff membership, employment, or clinical integration.
  8. Strategic planning related to clinical service expansion or constriction within a hospital or healthcare system.
  9. Outreach and partnering with the community at large, especially around population health initiatives
  10. Operational responsibility for selected service lines or support services, e.g., case management, home health, hospice, and others.

Finding, recruiting, and hiring an individual who is qualified to take on all or even some of the above areas of responsibility can be quite a challenge. Coker Group has considerable experience in helping organizations source interim or permanent physicians who can meet these needs.

For more information on how Coker Group can help your organization find a CMO contact us.

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