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Top 3 Headaches of Healthcare Finance Execs

Rene Letourneau, for HealthLeaders Media, July 22, 2013

"[We have] made some key investments, built support within our community, and hope to receive approval to issue tax-supported general obligation bonds later this year that will allow us to initiate our major construction plans," he says. "[W]e have done very well."

3.Revenue Cycle Complexity
As the healthcare industry evolves, it is becoming increasingly complicated for provider organizations to operate the revenue cycle successfully, says Kris Zimmer, senior vice president of finance at St. Louis-based SSM Health Care, a 4,000-bed health system covering four states.

Zimmer sees this as one of his organization's largest challenges.

"Complexity is increasing at an alarming rate and while, theoretically, that complexity results in more precise payments, there is a lack of recognition of how inefficient that complexity is in terms of the infrastructure providers need to bill correctly and what payers need in order to monitor payments," Zimmer says. "If you add the cost of all that up, it's very, very inefficient on the whole."

Marlene Zurack, senior vice president and CFO for New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC), agrees that revenue cycle complexity is a big challenge and says the onerous job of maintaining accurate data doesn't make it any easier.

"[It is] complex and difficult to get all the data right in your revenue cycle," Zurack says. "Every time there is a reimbursement reform, a new level of data collection gets overlaid over the old one, and you never drop the old one. It's difficult; it's one of the problems with healthcare."

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1 comments on "Top 3 Headaches of Healthcare Finance Execs"


James Mcniff (7/23/2013 at 4:58 PM)
Hello Rene, Your articles on the revenue cycle are always excellent. I hope the CFO's of the organizations understand the implications of underfunding the capital needs of the revenue cycle.