CFO Richard Rothberger: Orchestrating Scripps' Financial Health

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Richard Rothberger has served as CFO of San Diego-based Scripps Health since August 2001, and since then, he has achieved several goals — but perhaps none as lofty as the $120 million financial turnaround from operations.

Richard Rothberger is CFO of Scripps Health.That turnaround has positioned Scripps to improve its balance sheet by more than $1 billion and initiate a multiple-campus strategic capital plan to improve facilities and expand its ambulatory site presence in the community, he says.

Mr. Rothberger — who is responsible for Scripps' corporate finance, treasury, capital planning, payor contracting, revenue cycle, supply chain, real estate, construction and financial operations for its hospitals and medical foundation — positioned the four-hospital system for profitable growth by moving it away from risk contracting, improving top line revenue through better-coordinate contracting efforts and infusing cash into the system. During his tenure, he has even helped Scripps reduce the days in accounts receivable by 30 percent and significantly reduced supply costs.

"Our successes in reducing the rate of increase of costs in a flattening rate environment involve moving incrementally closer to being able to break even on Medicare payments," Mr. Rothberger says. "This involves achieving an annual average of $50 million per year of incremental performance improvement initiatives over the next five years.

This past January, Mr. Rothberger also played an instrumental role as Scripps sold tax-exempt bonds at a historically low 4.2 percent interest rate. The refinancing is expected to save the health system $50 million over the life of the debt, and Mr. Rothberger says investors were drawn to the sale by Scripps' "appealing credit rating and a desire to balance higher-risk investments in their municipal bond portfolios."

Currently, Scripps has a credit rating of AA- by Standard & Poor's and Fitch Ratings, and it is also rated Aa3 by Moody's Investors Service.

Prior to joining Scripps, Mr. Rothberger served as CFO of Mercy Healthcare Sacramento, a division of Dignity Health, from 1997 to 2001

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