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CFOs' Top 3 Lessons of 2012

Karen Minich-Pourshadi, for HealthLeaders Media, December 17, 2012

Unfortunately, until the payment model completes its transition in 2014, CFOs should anticipate financial losses. But there is money to be earned in the future by establishing a model now—that's a take-away from Kevin Vermeer, executive vice president and CFO at Iowa Health System.

"We fully expect that our revenue is going to go down," he explained at the 2012 American Medical Group Association annual conference in San Diego last March. Iowa Health System, an integrated 26-hospital system headquartered in Des Moines, has taken the population health leap already by expanding its existing ACO.

It is using a variety of methods to sustain that decision financially, including developing Iowa's first commercial ACO with Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa. It has  also agreed to create ACO organizations in four other markets across the state and two Iowa Health affiliates operate a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Pioneer ACO.

Any effort to move forward, however, begins by getting data. Organizations will need quality and patient satisfaction metrics to help construct bundled payment agreements with payers. Moreover, healthcare organization must also figure out how to calculate physician pay for spending more time with patients on preventative care. Well, I said this transition would be challenging.

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