Four national membership groups representing healthcare executives have begun preliminary discussions to find ways to collaborate.
As early as this fall, the four organizations may join together to sponsor an educational seminar.
The groups are the Healthcare Financial Management Association, Westchester, Ill.; the American College of Healthcare Executives, Chicago; the Healthcare Forum, San Francisco; and the American College of Physician Executives, Tampa, Fla.
Executive directors of the four groups first met four weeks ago to talk about "who we are and what we're trying to accomplish," said Richard Clarke, the HFMA's president and chief executive officer at a meeting of chief financial officers in Tampa. A second meeting will take place soon.
Mr. Clarke said the groups jointly agreed to begin meeting at the suggestion of Roger Schenke, executive vice president of the American College of Physician Executives. Mr. Schenke, at the request of his board of directors, Trade groupshad contacted the other association leaders to ask them about compensation techniques and other issues.
The associations have shared some information about their activities but have yet to define specific objectives for collaboration. A first step may be sponsoring an educational conference.
Mr. Clarke said the group may be expanded to include other personal membership organizations such as the American Nurses Association, American Medical Association and the Medical Group Management Association, which is planning a merger with the American Group Practice Association (Jan. 31, p. 4).
The American Hospital Association hasn't been invited to the table because it's an institutional trade organization rather than one that represents professionals in healthcare, Mr. Clarke said.-