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Analysis

10 Healthcare Finance Stories Worth Checking Out

By Jack O'Brien  
   December 27, 2019

Read profiles of notable healthcare finance leaders along with stories about major industry trends from 2019.

Throughout the year, HealthLeaders kept its finger on the pulse of the healthcare finance sector.

We spoke with finance leaders at health systems across the country as well as those making an impact at payer organizations and technology companies.

These conversations focused on how to drive revenue and reduce organizational waste but also on the ideas that are driving change in the healthcare industry going forward.

Below are 10 healthcare finance stories worth checking out from 2019.

1. Find the Hidden Dollars in Your Hospital (Without Reducing Labor)

Leaders must be proactive and clever about eliminating waste in healthcare processes. Their focus should be how to fix the processes contributing to inefficiencies in their respective systems while simultaneously gaining money.

HealthLeaders spoke with three healthcare executives who share cost-cutting ideas that don't include reducing labor. These ideas include a clinical-based approach, a financial fix, and a hybrid solution, all of which help healthcare organizations find those hidden dollars.

This article appears in the May/June 2019 edition of HealthLeaders magazine.

2. Giesinger's Long-Term Investment Plan to Eradicate Med School Debt, Strengthen Primary Care

Provider organizations are trying to prepare for the expected increase in medical care demands as baby boomers retire across the country.

As demands rise, the physician shortage is also expected to widen, with the Association of American Medical Colleges predicting that there will be a shortfall of 55,000 primary care physicians by 2032.

According to Geisinger Health CEO Jaewon Ryu, MD, JD, "we see 10,000 people aging into 65 every day in this country. As people age … they tend to be sicker. And so, there's an awful lot of chronic disease. And I think that the needs are profound in our community."

With complex challenges on the horizon, Geisinger decided to make a financial investment that will put the organization in the position to meet pressing clinical needs.

3. Ridesharing Companies Make Healthcare Inroads 

This year, Lyft and Uber both went public with explicit goals to make strides in the healthcare market, marking the entrance of Silicon Valley technology companies to the non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) space. 

Minyang Jiang, CEO of GoRide, spoke with HealthLeaders about Ford Motor Company's nationwide push to grow in the competitive healthcare transportation space.

Megan Callahan, Lyft's vice president of healthcare, said the ridesharing company is aiming to solve operational inefficiencies, better patient experience, and cost.

A month after Uber went public with a goal of continuing to expand its operations, Dan Trigub spoke about how the San Francisco–based ridesharing company can compete in the NEMT space and the potential to branch into other adjacent areas of medical transport.

4. The 3 Real Worries Facing Hospital CFOs Today

Disruption to the way hospitals make money is not just a looming threat anymore. It's here.

And hospital chief financial officers know that their organizations must face a changing industry with some brutal honesty and careful strategy.

This article appears in the May/June 2019 edition of HealthLeaders magazine.

5. Banner Health CFO Dennis Laraway on ACO Success, Expanding Strategic Footprint

Dennis Laraway is leading Banner Health's efforts to expand its footprint in academic medicine and value-based care.

He would seem to be the executive to do it, given his experience at major medical and healthcare systems. Laraway says he's been able to learn and benefit from those opportunities as he moved into his current role as CFO at Banner Health in Phoenix.

In a conversation with HealthLeaders, Laraway delved into Banner's burgeoning organizational composition as a payer-provider, maximizing its market share, as well as the obstacles and availabilities that have arisen from the pursuit of value-based care.

6. Here are 4 Great Ideas We Heard at the 2019 CFO Exchange

Check out four ideas that financial leaders have been pursuing to support their respective organization's mission while staying financially solvent.

These ideas were shared with HealthLeaders in August at our CFO Exchange at the American Club in Kohler, Wisconsin.  

The CFO Exchange is one of six healthcare thought-leadership and networking events that HealthLeaders holds annually. While the events are invitation-only, qualified healthcare executives, senior-level and above, will be considered.

To inquire about the HealthLeaders Exchange program, email us at exchange@healthleadersmedia.com.

7. UVA MEDICAL CENTER CFO SAYS DEBT COLLECTION PRACTICES ARE 'NOT UNIQUE' FOLLOWING KHN STORY

In early September, the University of Virginia Health System (UVA Health) was the subject of an investigative piece by Kaiser Health News (KHN) that examined the healthcare organization's debt collection practices.

The Charlottesville, Virginia­­–based system filed 36,000 lawsuits against patients for nearly $106 million in unpaid bills over six years ending in June 2018, according to KHN. The organization, according to the KHN article, also seized wages, placed liens on homes, and some patients reported filing for bankruptcy. 

While Douglas E. Lischke, CPA, MBA, CITP, CHFP, serves as CFO for the broader health system, Marquardt oversees hospital and clinical operations.

Marquardt told HealthLeaders that the issue of healthcare organizations pursuing patients over unpaid medical bills speaks to a larger industry-wide trend and is "not unique" to UVA Medical Center.

8. TAKE CHARGE OF EXECUTIVE BURNOUT TO PROTECT YOUR ORGANIZATION

Burnout is in the C-suite, though it is much less talked about compared to those in rank-and-file positions.

The rise of consumerism has also played a part in the executive burnout trend as patients see and demand more from their local healthcare providers.

Despite the difficult situation and the reasons for executive burnout, leaders can be assured that there are options available to them.

This article appears in the January/February 2019 edition of HealthLeaders magazine.

9. DON'T LET THESE 6 BARRIERS STOP YOUR REVENUE CYCLE SUCCESS

'Translate' revenue cycle functions for clinicians to help them understand their role in the organization's financial health.

Standardize open, clear, and ongoing communications with payers.

Equip revenue cycle employees with more training and reward them for their specialized knowledge and skill.

This article appears in the July/August 2019 edition of HealthLeaders magazine. 

10. JEFFERSON HEALTH CEO GIVES INSIGHT ON HOW TO OPERATE AS MEDICARE FOR ALL LOOMS

The "fragmented," "expensive," and "inequitable" American healthcare system needs fundamental changes, says Dr. Stephen Klasko, CEO of Jefferson Health, but he disagrees that the Medicare for All proposals put forward by Democratic presidential candidates can fix the industry.

Health system executives are carefully watching the developments surrounding the Medicare for All debate and how such a policy proposal would affect their bottom line.

In an interview with HealthLeaders, Klasko says that presidential candidates should focus on putting forward healthcare policy proposals that deal with "the tough problems," faced by health systems and hospitals.

Jack O'Brien is the finance editor at HealthLeaders, a Simplify Compliance brand.


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