Though the larger healthcare picture is causing concern for all healthcare leaders, when it comes to the state of their individual organization, finance leaders are optimistic. Nearly 60% feel their organization is on the right track, according to the survey.
This may be due to the renewed organizational financial strength hospitals and health systems are finding after several years of cost cutting, says Pumpian. Thirty-five percent of survey respondents say the organization's current cash on hand is 31–90 days, and 36% have reached 91–189 days. Moreover, half (50%) of finance leaders say they have accounts receivable days at 36–50 days, and 27% report it at 51–75 days. Additionally, 58% of finance leaders report a 2011 EBIDA/EBITDA margin of between 0%–3.5% and nearly a third (32%) report it at or above 3.6%.
"There's a lot at stake with investment returns now, so CFO responses may vary with this answer depending on whether these are having a strong financial performance and/or if they are seeing greater operational performance," says Pumpian.
However, she notes, 2012 does offer finance leaders some certainties that 2013 lacks, which may explain why 58% of finance leaders feel positive or strongly positive about their organization's financial forecast.