12 Recent Notable Quotes From Hospital & Health System CFOs

Healthcare CFOs face a slew of obstacles, from declining admissions to growing financial regulations, and learning from colleagues could give a fresh perspective on those challenges.

Here are 12 notable quotes from hospital and health system CFOs appearing in Becker's Hospital Review during the past two months.

Suzanne Anderson, CIO and CFO of Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle on lean principles
"A lot of people in healthcare today that use lean use it as a quality improvement tool. We think about it much differently than that. For us, the Virginia Mason Production System is our management system. It's not something done on the side. It's the way we conduct all our business. It's the language we use."

Dennis Boyd, CFO of St. Mark's Medical Center in La Grange, Texas, on small hospitals refinancing debt
"You're talking about rural hospitals. You're like the walking wounded all the time, and it doesn't take a lot to take you down."

Mike Brown, CFO of Children's Hospital & Medical Center in Omaha, Neb., on price transparency
"Financial transparency is a trend that will continue. It's in our best interest as an industry to proactively continue to develop this. I don't think we want our regulators at the state level or at the federal level to drive the agenda. This is something we need to lead."

Kevin Burns, CFO of Houston Methodist on improving the billing process
"Sometimes, what organizations do is focus on a process solely from a financial perspective, and they forget that everything's interrelated. It's important to involve individuals from across the organization in this conversation."

John Gleckler, CFO of St. Vincent's Medical Center in Bridgeport, Conn., on investing in technology
"Try to pick the areas where capital would be better invested for future growth. Right now, we're investing a lot into our informational systems, patient portals and the upfront revenue cycle process."

Pam Hess, CFO of Saint Thomas West Hospital in Nashville, Tenn., on the two-midnight rule
"We've already seen reimbursement go down because of the new rule. The challenge has been getting physicians to document if a patient will be in the hospital for two midnights when they are admitted so we can bill it correctly."

Greg Johnston, CFO of Baptist Health System in Birmingham, Ala., on chargemasters
"I wish I could take a magic wand and redo my entire chargemaster to reflect a true 'retail' price. However, it is impossible to do this given existing payer contracts and Medicare outlier reimbursement formulas that rely on prior relationships between cost and charges. A major reduction in chargemaster prices would result in a major reduction in Medicare outlier payments until the formula caught up with the new pricing."

Patrick Kowalski, CFO of Mercy Health in Cincinnati on uncertainty in healthcare today
"You can't pick up a publication these days without seeing some kind of negative outlook. It's easy to be negative, but we also need to be cheerleaders and positive about what we can do. I'm excited about the road ahead. Is it scary? A little bit, sure. But when you think about your team and you put your heads together, you can accomplish more than you can apart."

John Orsini, CFO of Cadence Health in Winfield, Ill., on finance and green strategies
"In terms of sustainability, I try to look at the total cost. It's easy to just say whether we're going to build something or buy something. You also have to think about what are the maintenance costs, what's the energy usage and — when you get into medical devices and patient care — what are the costs of disposing things?"

Meredith Price, CFO of St. Joseph's Hospital Health Center in Syracuse, N.Y., on collaboration
"I've been in so many distressed hospitals, and so much can be gained from accountability and transparency."

Douglas Shirley, CFO of Cooper University Health Care in Camden, N.J., on the impact of ICD-10
"Initially, I do anticipate a slowdown in claims processing and cash flow. Hopefully since we're being proactive that will be at a minimum. Long term, I believe the healthcare industry as a whole is good at adapting to challenges. We've dealt with the balanced budget act, HIPAA and the rollout of EHRs. The industry is pretty resilient and we'll figure it out, hopefully sooner than later."

Garrick Stoldt, CFO of Saint Peter's Healthcare System in New Brunswick, N.J., on energy efficiency
"If you look at hospitals, we are very high consumers of energy because of the technologies we use. There's a lot of medical equipment that is high energy. Our energy needs grow every year. Finding ways to be more efficient with our base business is really important."

More Articles on Hospital and Health System CFOs:
Healthcare CFO Lessons: How Should Hospitals Treat Low-Margin Services?
7 Primary Ways Companies Plan to Reduce Their Healthcare Costs
The State of Healthcare Finance: 9 Major Survey Findings From Hospital CFOs

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