3 Healthcare CFOs on the Election and Sequestration

Karen Minich-Pourshadi, for HealthLeaders Media , November 12, 2012

Healthcare leaders have told HealthLeaders Media that, regardless of the outcome of the 2012 elections, most planned to carry forward with a reform agenda. But CFOs say the looming "fiscal cliff" could derail their efforts if not resolved.

I asked three financial leaders—Kendall Johnson, CFO at Baton Rouge (La) General Medical Center, Debbie Bloomfield, CFO for the Central Division of Catholic Health Partners and Mercy Health in Cincinnati, and Rick Hinds, executive vice president and CFO at UC Health in Cincinnati—about their plans in the months ahead, and how sequestration threatens those.

HealthLeaders Media: Now that there's more certainty around the government's healthcare agenda, is it influencing how your organization moves forward with its strategic agenda?

Kendall Johnson:There is one positive that comes from there being no change in the administration or in the balance of power: now we can stay focused on where we want to go under these new laws. The results of the election didn't change or accelerate our strategy at all, and the results weren't going to change our path either way. We realized that the path we're on is the future of healthcare, and so we're moving as fast as we can on it. We are focused on sharing information internally and externally and building a collaborative network with our managed care [payers] to control the health of populations and to improve the quality of care and safety of patients.

Bernard J. TysonKendall Johnson

We didn't plan for every [financial] event that could come out of this; there were too many unknowns. ... We're getting ready to go to the market to refinance $180 million, and I'm not concerned about raising the capital to grow, but [I am concerned] about the industry continuing to react to the need to make cost reductions through mergers and acquisitions.

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