Help us Tell the Story Together

21 Sep Help us Tell the Story Together

By 

Joseph J. Fifer, President and CEO, Healthcare Financial Management Association

Stephen Allegretto, Vice President, Yale New Haven Health

Jordan Harmon, Director, Costs of Care and Hospital for Special Surgery

One of the hardest parts about being a leader in healthcare is the complexities that exist throughout the industry and upcoming changes impacting the environment.  A great financial leader today is responsible for understanding the ongoing changes that come with the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the latest medical technology,  impacts of an electronic medical record, and contract reimbursement methodologies – just to name a few.  With a growing aging population and health expenditures 2.5 times higher for those over 65 than their younger counterparts, there is a focus on value throughout the system.

For clinicians, it is not any easier in today’s healthcare environment.  Clinical documentation is more heavily scrutinized than a few years ago and financial reimbursement continues to decline.  Not only are there now more treatment options to consider, but also more data available to clinicians they must be responsible for knowing than ever before.  The path to be a successful physician, nurse, or any clinician is no longer clear today and with the burden of large costs for education, it’s no wonder how priorities can shift away from patient care.  Only through increased collaboration between clinical and finance teams can pivotal healthcare problems be overcome and only through specific actions can we forge a more effective health care system.

With this opportunity to drive real value on clinician and financial leaders’ minds, more projects have been launched that address efficiency and quality together.  Titles such as “Chief Transformation Officer” and “Chief Value Officer” are becoming increasingly familiar in hospital C-Suites.  Strong collaboration between both clinical and non-clinical leadership is now a critical part of a successful hospital team.  Stories of physicians and finance leaders co-leading transformational projects to address cost, value, and quality are more prevalent, which is why Costs of Care, Healthcare Financial Management Association, Strata Decision Technology, and Yale-New Haven Health have launched a contest aimed at gathering these stories.  If you have been part of such a collaboration or know of teams that leveraged clinical and finance collaboration, we encourage submission of these stories.

For our teams, the value of these stories is not only in bringing new issues to the surface but also in creating a shared awareness in order to develop new interventions.  We have heard from hundreds of patients, clinicians, and financial administrators throughout our past five years at Costs of Care and the most exciting part of hearing these stories is how they impact others facing the same struggles.  Thousands of healthcare organizations struggle with collaboration between clinicians and finance and those that are successful have a story to tell. Help us tell that story together.

For more information on the contest visit our webpage: http://costsofcare.org/advocacy/tell-your-story/ and submit your story by the September 28th deadline.

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Joseph J. Fifer, FHFMA, CPA is the President and CEO of the Healthcare Financial Management Association.  Prior to his current position, Mr.  Fifer spent 11 years as vice president of hospital finance at Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Stephen Allegretto, CPA, MPH is vice president of Strategic Analytics and Financial Planning at Yale New Haven Health System.  He has been at Yale-New Haven Health System for 28 years serving in a variety of financial and operational roles.

Jordan Harmon, MHA is Director of Advocacy Initiatives at Costs of Care and Director of Operational Excellence at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS).  Prior to joining HSS, he was a management consultant focusing on revenue cycle improvements as well as a leader at NYU Langone Medical Center.  Views are his own.

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