CFO Karen Shepard: Growing Operating Cash Flow at St. Charles Health System
Despite lukewarm growth in admissions and revenue, St. Charles Health System, based in Bend, Ore., is maintaining profitability and holding its market share, thanks in part to its CFO Karen Shepard, CPA.
The effects of the 2008 economic downturn still weigh heavy on Bend, which has a higher unemployment rate than the rest of Oregon. That made the CFO role all the more critical for non-profit St. Charles’ financial wellbeing when Ms. Shepard took on the job in 2009.
All the same, the operating margin for the first 10 months of fiscal 2012 jumped to 4.4 percent from 1.8 percent during the same period last year, and operating cash flow increased to 12.3 percent from 10.7 percent. Moody’s Investors Service recently upgraded the rating of St. Charles' revenue bonds from "A3" to "A2."
Ms. Shepard and the rest of the system’s leadership team also are preparing for a hospital acquisition next year and are navigating a 5 percentage point jump in Medicaid revenue relative to total revenue in just two years.
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