When Robin Norman, senior vice president and CFO at Virginia Hospital Center, a 334-bed institution in Arlington, VA, looks ahead to the rest of 2014, the glaring issue she sees on the horizon for her organization is declining reimbursements.
"Our biggest challenge is the ongoing reimbursement reductions, primarily from government payers, and that train just keeps coming at you every year," she says.
Norman is certainly not alone in her assessment. In the HealthLeaders Media 2014 Industry Survey: Forging Healthcare's New Financial Foundation, 91% of respondents said they consider reduced reimbursements to be a threat to their organization, far outweighing the next two most commonly cited concerns, industry consolidation (37%) and overall healthcare reform (36%).
1. Integrate and Train to Prevent Leakage
While it may not come as a surprise to anyone in healthcare that reimbursements are a major cause for concern, the constant need to do more with less has Norman and her team looking for long-term solutions for containing costs and preventing leakage.
"The complexity in healthcare is unfortunate, even the complexity that existed before all the changes that are beginning to transpire," she says. "All those complexities lead to opportunities to make mistakes that are just human mistakes— like an honest registration error where something gets entered wrong or a physician doesn't document something correctly—and we don't get paid."