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From Workforce to Payers: 4 Trends We Are Following for CEOs

Analysis  |  By Jay Asser  
   June 20, 2024

The healthcare finance event in Las Vegas will feature discussions on the biggest strategic trends in the industry.

There is no shortage of challenges on the plates of hospital and health system CEOs right now, putting pressure on organizations big and small to find solutions to the most pressing problems.

The good news? Everyone in the industry is in together for the most part. Sure, the discrepancy between the haves and have-nots means many operators have less margin for error than others, but whether you’re a big system or a rural hospital, the same pain points are affecting the bottom line.

More than 3,000 participants from across the country will get together in Las Vegas next week at the HFMA Annual Conference to discuss best practices to these challenges and hash out major trends to improve financial stability.

Here are four talking points that will be featured at the conference for CEOs to track:

Responding to cyberattacks

Cybersecurity isn’t a new issue in healthcare, but it has come to the forefront in the first half of this year due to several high-profile attacks, most notably the one that knocked out Change Healthcare.

These ransomware events aren’t just damaging organizations’ finances, they’re also disrupting clinical operations. Without preventative measures and a response plan in place, providers will be left unprepared to withstand the negative consequences from attacks.

How health systems can maintain their clinical operations during a cyberattack will be a point of emphasis at the conference, allowing organizations to improve their risk management and overall resilience.

Workforce investments

It wouldn’t be a meeting of industry leaders without extensive discussions on the workforce, arguably the number one pain point for CEOs currently.

Ensuring a sustainable workforce requires a multi-pronged approach and an understanding of how and where to invest in. Since the end of the pandemic, health systems have moved away from contract labor to cut down on expenses, but without solving for the factors that cause turnover, organizations will see their bottom line take even more of a hit in the long run.

At the conference, CEOs will share workforce programs that have shown success and the metrics that demonstrate that progress.

Negotiating with payers

With margins as tight as they are, providers are feeling the squeeze from payers more and more. But what can they do about it?

Organizations must rethink their contract negotiations to strengthen their position and create more financial flexibility, which often requires a change in approach that is specific to the type of services provided.

Some of the strategies leaders are expected to dig into at the conference include the use of a data analytics team to create leverage against payers, as well as independent review organization language in contract agreements.

M&A for growth

Within portfolio management, pursuing mergers and acquisitions is one way for CEOs to achieve significant growth.

When it’s a viable strategy, dealmaking can yield tremendous value that improves clinical outcomes and creates financial optimization.

Whether you’re a local hospital wanting to expand into a national market, or an organization exploring a shift to payvider status, leaders at the conference will identify key objectives and methods to get the most out of transactions.

Jay Asser is the contributing editor for strategy at HealthLeaders. 


Healthcare executives will convene at the HFMA Annual Conference in Las Vegas next week, where several sessions will tackle pain points at the top of CEOs’ lists.

Workforce, cybersecurity, payer negotiations, and mergers and acquisitions will be areas of focus as healthcare continues to grapple with their financial effects.

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