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Three Questions I Want to Ask at the Winter CFO Exchange

Analysis  |  By Jack O'Brien  
   February 10, 2020

I plan to ask chief financial officers about the most concerning obstacles facing their organizations and how they plan to solve them.

I look forward to speaking with dozens of healthcare finance leaders about the solutions they've put into place to deal with the problems they face while attending the 2020 HealthLeaders Winter CFO Exchange at The Ritz-Carlton in New Orleans, Louisiana from February 12–14.

I'll be moderating group discussions between CFOs as they delve into the most pressing challenges facing their organizations and how they have addressed them.

Additionally, some leaders will present unique programs and initiatives that have improved the bottom line at their health system. 

Below are three questions I look forward to asking at the CFO Exchange:

1. How do you operate in a fee-for-service world while making the crucial changes towards value-based care?

In my interviews with CFOs, one question that generates interesting feedback is how hospitals are embracing the shift towards value-based care models in a predominantly fee-for-service environment.

Some are further ahead than others, like CareMount Medical, P.C., which operates its own Next Generation Accountable Care Organization (ACO), which delivered almost $780,000 in shared savings in 2018.

Kevin Conroy, MS, CFO of CareMount, spoke with me last month about the organization's commitment to providing value-based care options to patients and his excitement to discuss their ongoing projects with his peers.

"It's important that we're out there learning from our peers as to how they're tackling the challenges of succeeding in this ever-changing environment," Conroy said. 

Related: CareMount Leads on Value-Based Care Strategies With an Eye on Physician Compensation

2. How can you utilize data to drive your system's performance?

A key component to establishing functional value-based programs is technology and the use of data analytics, according to Conroy.

While most CFOs recognize the opportunity presented by harnessing data, I want to know how they've managed to get the most out of their analytics operations.

I'm curious to hear about the strategies that leaders have put into place and if they are leading the effort or designating that responsibility to another member of the C-suite.  

Related: New Financial Leadership at UnityPoint - Des Moines

3. What healthcare reforms do you expect out of Washington this year and how are you prepared to adapt to them?

Since our event takes place during the early part of the presidential election campaign, I'm curious to hear what leaders expect as it relates to potential healthcare reform and how they will adjust.

The Trump administration most recently released its "Healthy Adult Opportunity" initiative, but also unveiled its price transparency final rule last November.

Meanwhile, several Democratic presidential candidates have backed proposals to institute a "Medicare for All"-style single-payer program or introduce a public option on top of the existing framework of the Affordable Care Act.

I want to know what, if anything, CFOs expect from Capitol Hill as it relates to healthcare policy changes and how they plan to best position their organization to navigate an uncertain future. 

Related: 4 Great Ideas We Heard at the 2019 CFO Exchange

These conversations will take place at the 2020 HealthLeaders Winter CFO Exchange at The Ritz-Carlton in New Orleans, Louisiana from February 12–14.

The CFO Exchange is one of six healthcare thought-leadership and networking events that HealthLeaders holds annually, allowing knowledge to be shared in a comfortable setting.

To inquire about the HealthLeaders Exchange program, email us at

Jack O'Brien is the Content Team Lead and Finance Editor at HealthLeaders, an HCPro brand.

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