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3 Reasons to Fall In Love Again...With Healthcare Finance

Karen Minich-Pourshadi, for HealthLeaders Media, February 14, 2011

It is Valentine's Day and I wouldn't miss the opportunity to remind you that there's a reason why you love being a CFO at a hospital or health system, moreover 2011 might just be the year you fall in love all over again.

Am I nuts? After all, this is slated to be one of the hardest years ever for many healthcare leaders. So challenging in fact, that many of you may even ponder leaving the industry altogether, but, here are three reasons why you shouldn't:

1.The Thrill of the Chase. Anything that comes too easy is, well, too easy. This year, as with the last few, CFOs will be slashing costs. However, what makes this year (as well as the next few) so thrilling is the prospect of finding new and innovative ways to reduce costs. Consider:

  • Launching Lean and Six Sigma. These two process efficiency models have already likely made their way into your hospital or health system in the form of small revenue cycle projects . You've seen the success, perhaps it's time to roll them out on a larger scale. (Learn more about this in the April edition of HealthLeaders Magazine.)  
  • Doing a spend analysis. The use of business analytic tools can shift processes from the transactional to the transformative, helping healthcare organizations to not just discover financial savings, but strategic opportunities as well.
  • Enhancing quality. There are more than a few areas at any hospital that can stand some improvement and it's time to acknowledge all of them and strive to improve them. In nearly every instance, when you improve quality, you reduce your costs.
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1 comments on "3 Reasons to Fall In Love Again...With Healthcare Finance"


bob (2/15/2011 at 4:49 PM)
Here's another suggestion: Do away with all uncompensated care at your hospital. Put all of the money in the budget for uncompensated care into a fund to pay a fair negotiated rate for each patient who can't or won't pay in full. For these patients, be your own third party payer. As with every other patient with care provided by a third party payer, take all necessary steps to assure that the care is being provided efficiently and effectively to each patient that you are paying for individually from this fund. You will probably save about a quarter of the budgeted money the first year. For more details, see the paper on "Doing Away with Uncompensated Care" published in INQUIRY and on my web site: sigmondpapers.org.