Funding difficulties represent just one of the challenges hospital and health system CFOs must contend with. Alongside new reimbursement models and an increasingly intricate revenue cycle, the complexities really start to add up.
Being responsible for the financial stewardship of a hospital or health system is becoming an increasingly difficult task as the healthcare industry prepares for full implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the move toward population health management and value-based purchasing.
What do finance leaders consider to be their biggest challenges? Four executives recently told me about three issues that make their already-tough jobs harder:
1. Healthcare Reform
David Cox, CFO at Marin General Hospital, a 235-bed institution in Greenbrae, CA, says his organization is working hard to adapt quickly to the new healthcare economy that he believes will result from reform legislation.
"We are assembling the components of a local integrated delivery system, including physician organizations, other area hospitals, and related services," Cox says. "We are moving rapidly into delegated risk contracting and aligning incentives between providers."
Cox says Marin General is also preparing for the challenges posed by new reimbursement models by working to improve outcomes and certain key metrics.
"We are focused on clinical quality metrics," he says. "[We] monitor them monthly with our senior management team and have assigned accountability to the appropriate individuals. We are looking at the requirements from the various payers to qualify as centers of excellence and continue to improve our clinical programs and outcomes."