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CFOs Have AI Budgeting Angst: Here's How They're Coping

Analysis  |  By Amanda Norris  
   May 09, 2024

Technology is everywhere in healthcare, but budgeting for it lands on the shoulders of the CFO.

Healthcare organizations are at the forefront of technology. From clinical areas to the revenue cycle, every facet of an organization is seeing some sort of new technology or AI. While technology and innovation are needed, CFOs are the ones left to figure out how to pay for it all.

As reducing costs is a top concern for CFOs, especially since bottom lines have been severely stressed and new technology costs are adding up—what are the solutions?

This has been one of the challenges at the forefront of conversations so far at the HealthLeaders CFO Exchange, as dozens of finance leaders from across the country are currently talking shop in San Diego.

Why AI?

Changes in the workforce landscape are forcing CFOs to be more creative, meaning many are looking toward AI and other technology to fill those workforce gaps and optimize processes.  

“AI is great, especially for our workforce issues, but how do we pay for it and redeploy resources?” Jim Wilson, CFO at Mayo Clinic Health Systems, asked the crowd during the morning’s general session.

This is a complex question that explains why it will take more time for healthcare leaders to add in more AI.

And How?

Speaking of budget, budgeting for automation and the impact on future work demands is crucial for preparing for technological advancements, but it’s not as easy as it sounds. And since using AI to automate workflow in clinical and non-clinical departments can lead to improved efficiency and accuracy, CFOs need to prioritize this cost. But how?

Well, many CFOs at this event are starting to figure it out.

A good place to start? Creating a consolidated AI plan. “We have leaders in every pocket of the system asking for AI in their department, but there is no overarching AI strategy in place which makes budgeting disjointed,” said Donna Wallace, VP of financial accounting from Integris Health.

It’s not all bad, though. In fact, one CFO at the event is piloting AI for physicians that creates clinical notes based on the verbal conversations the physician has with patients. The added AI saves so much time for physicians that it allows them to see more patients in a day, helping to pad that bottom line.

This is just a sliver of conversation at this year’s event, so stay tuned as the Exchange continues to unfold over the next two days.

Our Spring 2024 CFO Exchange is taking place until May 10 at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar in San Diego.

Are you a CFO or finance leader interested in attending an upcoming event? To inquire about attending the HealthLeaders Exchange event, email us at

The HealthLeaders Exchange is an executive community for sharing ideas, solutions, and insights. Please join the community at our LinkedIn page.

Amanda Norris is the Director of Content for HealthLeaders.


The HealthLeaders CFO Exchange has been spurring conversation on how and why CFOs should invest in AI.

Creating a plan to map out exactly where the technology can save on costs is a crucial first step leaders can take.

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