Q&A: Catholic Health Initiatives' New Senior VP for Capital Finance

Rene Letourneau, for HealthLeaders Media , May 20, 2013

Nick Barto recently stepped up his role at the 80-hospital health system to increase CHI's focus on strategic finance in light of healthcare reform and the shift in patient volumes to outpatient settings.

Catholic Health Initiatives, the 80-hospital, $10.7 billion nonprofit health system based in Englewood, CO, recently added the position of senior vice president for capital finance to its executive lineup. The new function will increase CHI's focus on strategic finance in light of healthcare reform and the shift in patient volumes to outpatient settings, says Nick Barto, who stepped into the role on May 7.

Barto oversees an annual capital budget of $1.1 billion, which he says will be largely invested in technology initiatives, revenue cycle solutions, physician practice management, and care management in 2013.

I spoke with Barto about the health system's decision to create the new position and about CHI's capital spending plans.

HealthLeaders Media: The position you are stepping into is new at Catholic Health Initiatives. What motivated the health system to add a senior vice president for capital finance?

Nick Barto: The many changes that have come—and will come—through healthcare reform and the Affordable Care Act have presented the entire industry with some considerable challenges. The industry and the environment continue to evolve, and large organizations like CHI, which operates in 17 states, must evolve and change with the times. … This position is connected very closely to strategy in terms of the ability to connect all things related to capital formation, capital acquisition, and capital deployment. This connection also extends to capital acquisition related to the debt program, outside investors, and banks—that is, our ability to access the capital markets and raise money from investors and commercial banks to help fund our growth strategy.

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