The tagline of this year's Healthcare Financial Management Association annual conference—"Do the impossible. Do it again"—was apropos for healthcare CFOs, who sought answers for the frustration and confusion embodying the current healthcare climate. While uncertainty definitely remains, four perspectives remain with me:
From a banker: Bank of America Managing Director Andrew Bressler recommends that financial leaders anticipate and plan for reductions in Medicare payments. While a great deal of uncertainty comes from the pending Presidential elections and from the Congressional Super Committee's inability to agree on pending automatic budget reductions, the fact remains that a 2% reduction in Medicare payments is inevitable, as the government attempts to wring out $100 billion in the next 10 years, which will apply to 90% of Medicare spending, he notes.
Bressler also encourages CFOs to plow ahead with Medicare shared savings programs and accountable care organizations and to establish bundled payment initiatives.