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Healthcare CFO Perspectives and Industry Trends: Insights from HFMA National Conference

At the HFMA National Conference recently held in Nashville, top healthcare executives gathered to discuss the industry’s evolving landscape. In a panel discussion moderated by Norman Mosrie, partner at FORVIS, CFOs from prominent healthcare organizations shared their perspectives and insights on various trends and challenges they face. This article provides a summary of their key points.

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Unified Organizations, Leveraging Technology, and Meeting the Younger Generation’s Recruitment Expectations

Colleen Blye, EVP and CFO of Montefiore Medicine highlighted the challenges her organization faced during the pandemic, both financially and emotionally. As a result, Montefiore embarked on a transformation process to lower costs and improve revenue integrity. Blye emphasized the importance of unifying her organization, optimizing service lines, and seizing opportunities with the highest return on investment. She also discussed the need to compete with for-profit entities while maintaining their commitment to non-profit operations, in addition to investing in healthcare innovations.

Blye stressed the significance of leveraging technology, such as artificial intelligence (AI), to reshape the healthcare workforce and enhance training. She also emphasized the importance of recruitment strategies, catering to the younger generation’s expectations and the value of mentorship in building solid relationships within the organization.

Finding Better Ways to Deliver Healthcare

Theresa Mouton, Western Region CFO of Steward Health Care, shared insights from the for-profit space, discussing her organization’s strategic shift during the pandemic. Mouton highlighted the importance of educating staff and physicians on cost information, fostering a competitive spirit, and integrating physicians into the care delivery model. She emphasized the need for creativity and iteration to find better ways of delivering healthcare, including strategies to reduce contract labor and utilize paramedics and LPNs in different capacities.

Mouton also discussed the importance of forging partnerships with vendors that have a vested interest in the organization’s success. To achieve this, Steward Health Care incorporated gain and penalty arrangements, in addition to quality incentives into their contracts to align the interests of both parties. Mouton also touched on the role of AI in clinical documentation and recommended the book “Strengths Finder” as a tool to support hiring individuals with complementary strengths.

Identifying and Maximizing Healthcare Operational Excellence

Tommye Rena Wells, CFO of Cookeville Regional Medical Center, shared her insights as a leader in a standalone facility. She emphasized the importance of identifying and maximizing areas of excellence while involving physicians and employees in decision-making processes. Wells discussed the organization’s efforts to recruit and invest in employees, including partnerships with universities and nursing schools, paying for nurses’ education, and providing resources to enhance early career development.

Wells also highlighted the use of AI in clinical documentation and the significance of optimizing service lines to generate revenue. She discussed the implementation of performance targets and accountability measures to ensure quality care delivery. Lastly, Wells stressed the interconnectedness of operations and finance in tracking and improving overall organizational performance.

Key Strategies to Navigate the Evolving Healthcare Landscape

The executive panel discussion at the HFMA National Conference shed light on the challenges and opportunities currently faced by healthcare leaders. Key themes that emerged included the importance of transformation, leveraging technology such as AI, fostering strategic partnerships, investing in employees, optimizing service lines, and maintaining accountability for performance. These insights provide valuable guidance for healthcare organizations navigating the evolving industry landscape, with common goals to deliver high-quality care while ensuring financial sustainability.


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