2017 Governance Institute Biennial Survey Shows Positive Governance Evolution


San Diego, CA, Dec. 14, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Governance Institute, a service of NRC Health, has published the results of its 2017 Biennial Survey of governance structure in the nation’s non-profit hospitals and health systems. The survey explores how health systems, independent hospitals, subsidiary hospitals, and government-sponsored hospitals conduct business and view their performance while meeting industry demands.

Insights gleaned from responses representing over 900 hospitals demonstrated governance evolution in several areas, continuing to reflect the industry’s movement toward value and population health. The report indicated progress toward these ends, including: heightened system-level control of key issues, an increase of respondents (55 percent) participating in an ACO model of some type (up from 47 percent in 2015), and a higher level of physician involvement in governance (two physicians on average per board).  

Other major findings include:

Governance Structure & Culture:

  • A decline in average board size across all organization types: average board size has declined from 13.6 in to 12.9 in 2017. While board composition has remained somewhat consistent, the most significant shift includes a slight decrease in independent board members, and a slight increase in medical staff physicians.
  • Still spending 2/3 of time on hearing reports: While boards continue to increase the use of a consent agenda, 66 percent of board meeting time is devoted to hearing and reviewing reports. Only 24 percent of meeting time is spent discussing strategic issues/policy. Research by The Governance Institute has shown for all organizations a significant positive correlation between spending more than half of the board meeting time discussing strategic issues and respondents rating overall board performance as “excellent.”

  • Multiple models for system governance still being tested: Systems are more evenly split this year regarding governance structure, between: one system board with fiduciary oversight for the entire system, a system board and subsidiary boards with fiduciary duties, and a system board and subsidiary advisory boards. The key difference this year is that more systems are establishing board education and orientation programs for their subsidiaries.

  • Majority are continuing to add new population health goals to their strategic plan: 60 percent of respondents have added population health goals to the strategic plan since 2015.

To access the complete biennial survey, click here.

About The Governance Institute  

The Governance Institute provides trusted, independent information, resources, and tools to board members, healthcare executives, and physician leaders in support of their efforts to lead and govern their organizations. 

The Governance Institute is a membership organization serving not-for-profit hospital and health system boards of directors, executives, and physician leadership. Membership services are provided through research and publications, conferences, and advisory services. In addition to its membership services, The Governance Institute conducts research studies, tracks healthcare industry trends, and showcases governance practices of leading healthcare boards across the country.

For more information, call 877-712-8778, write to info@governanceinstitute.com, or visit www.governanceinstitute.com.

The Governance Institute is a service of NRC Health.

About NRC Health

NRC Health (NASDAQ: NRCIA and NRCIB) has helped healthcare organizations illuminate and improve the moments that matter to patients, residents, physicians, nurses, and staff for 35 years. Our empathetic heritage, proprietary methods, and holistic approach enable our partners to better understand the people they care for and, in turn, design experiences that inspire loyalty and trust.

For more information call 800-388-4264, write to info@nrchealth.com, or visit www.nrchealth.com.



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