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"So, How Many Lives Do We Need?" A Framework for Establishing Academic Health System Clinical Scale Goals and Strategies

"So, How Many Lives Do We Need?" A Framework for Establishing Academic Health System Clinical Scale Goals and Strategies


Many an academic health system (AHS) has grappled with the scale required to remain successful as markets consolidate and care migrates toward population-driven models. Determining “How many lives are needed?” is complex because it crosses different strategic and mission-related dimensions and should be driven by each system’s academic, clinical program and population health goals. Pursuing a course of action without first addressing what the AHS is seeking to achieve puts the organization at risk of not meeting or overshooting its targets. In this paper, we share a framework with real-life examples both academic and non-academic systems can use to define their goals for the number of lives needed to sustain their missions.