CFO Ben Dunford: Tackling the Finances of a Texas Physician-Owned Hospital
Ben Dunford took the CFO position of Texas Regional Medical Center at Sunnyvale (Texas) in August 2011 — his first hospital CFO job — but his prior corporate experience has helped him ease into the role.
Mr. Dunford oversees the financial reporting, health information technology, medical records, business office, collections, patient access, financial planning, materials management, managed care contracting and corporate development of TRMC at Sunnyvale, a 70-bed physician-owned hospital.
Previously, he was a senior manager at Bain & Company in Dallas, where he worked exclusively with Fortune 500 and private equity clients, some within healthcare, on their profitability analyses, merger planning and other corporate strategies. Mr. Dunford — who was named among D CEO magazine's "Top 30 Under 30" in 2007 — also worked at Goldman Sachs in Dallas, where he was part of an asset management team that oversaw more than $20 billion in global private equity funds.
In an August interview with Becker's Hospital Review, Mr. Dunford said he has already learned a lot in his one year at TRMC at Sunnyvale, as hospitals encounter unique financial challenges compared with his other positions.
"Sitting in the seat I am in now, I understand why [hospital executives] have to make one decision versus another," he said. "For example, one of the toughest things we've had to do so far is we're in the process of refinancing our debt. We're a small hospital, not part of a system, and helping lenders understand the great things we're doing takes some effort. At big systems, they have 300 days cash on hand, so going out to the debt markets is no problem. Managing capital structure and the balance sheet is a continual process here."
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