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CFO Exchange: Healthcare Reform Breeds Innovation

Philip Betbeze, for HealthLeaders Media, August 19, 2013

That term in itself has become fraught with so many different meanings that it's difficult to convey how much and how quickly change is coming to the financial side of the C-suite. No longer are CFOs locked away in their ivory tower of financial analysis, devoid of context to the value of their work as it relates to actual patient care.

Indeed, they are asked to work collaboratively with groups they have infrequently collaborated in the past. From reimbursement changes to labor costs to capital projects, little is familiar anymore.

Some organizations are transitioning to taking on actuarial risk, but whether they are or not, the risk of change itself is never far from the forefront of their minds. Often, they're expected to integrate the financials of many hitherto disparate parts of the healthcare continuum into systems that have never had to manage, for example, a skilled nursing facility and its labor and capital needs.  

They're wondering how best to collect from a patient population that is bearing the first-dollar cost of their healthcare expenditures as never before. They're trying to influence physician decision-making, always an exercise fraught with professional peril.

But no matter the challenge, the leaders who gathered in Colorado Springs last week aren't doing it alone. Collaborating and sharing solutions, problems and successes with their peers is more important than ever before, which, after all, is the reason why this event is so important.

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