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The Importance for a Healthcare CFO to Have a 360 Degree Outlook

Management Health Solutions | Friday 2 March 2012 ( 0 Comment)

Healthcare organization Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) should not take their eye off the ball. Every time there is a change from the federal or state government, they have to look at it from a 360 degree perspective, as making a decision in a vacuum could lead to costly consequences.

What would be the strategies for increasing efficiency of healthcare CFOs?

 It is important that healthcare CFOs have elements in place to be able to put their finger on what their costs are. They can no longer wait until the end of the month to determine their labor costs, as that will be too late. They need to maintain them on a day-to-day or weekly basis to effectively manage and correlate their labor efforts to the volume of activity they have had.

There are mechanisms available which provide time management and productivity through attendance systems, so having these interfaced and correlated with the payroll system is critical.

Many healthcare organizations are looking at processes such as lean six sigma and other practices, which have propelled us into a new world where we have input from all the players across the continuum. These have helped us give the right care and medicine to the right patient at the right time, leading to increased efficiencies, lower costs and better outcomes.

What could be suggested  for maximizing reimbursement?

If you do not have a margin, you cannot continue your mission of meeting the healthcare needs of the sick. Reimbursement is paramount as it goes hand in hand with the total operation of the organization. It is not enough to focus only on being efficient and maintaining costs when most of the money comes from the federal government. Having good clinical documentation and ensuring you get credit for everything you do for the patient is critical for maximizing reimbursement.

What is our outlook for the future and what changes should healthcare CFOs be preparing for?

Healthcare has always been a challenge, whether it has been cost control or decreased reimbursement, but CFOs have always managed in their environment. There are fewer hospitals operating today than in the past, as many providers were not able to justify their existence. The facilities that adjusted have thrived, and are doing better than ever before. The US healthcare system is the best healthcare provider in the world. It is attributed to the challenges we have had to overcome and the hurdles we have had to jump across.

There are ongoing efforts in today’s environment to make sure you get the most for your money. It has been this way for a long time, but now with healthcare reform and the push in the near future for accountable care, organizations might potentially have only one main source of revenue. Making sure the organization is run efficiently will be more important than ever before.

A final message for healthcare organization CFOs

 Be careful to safely guard what has been placed in your hands. As the CFO, you have the responsibility of ensuring financial stability. Do not lose sight of why you are in healthcare, and enjoy what you do every day. Go to work with a smile on your face and accept the challenges for what they are.

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