3 cost containment strategies from hospital CFOs

Containing costs is one of many challenges hospital CFOs face in today's healthcare environment.

Finance chiefs from hospitals and health systems shared their strategies with Becker's Hospital Review

1. Dennis Dahlen, CFO of Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic, highlighted eliminating excess costs through practice optimization and focused efforts.

Mayo "use[s] lean principles, procurement rigor, all of those things," he said. "I wouldn't characterize anything we're doing here as out of the box or extraordinary. It's the same things you would hear from most other health systems of our scale. I think this is a place where a physician-led, physician-driven model pays dividends because our physician leadership is absolutely front and center."

2. Steve Filton, CFO of King of Prussia, Pa.-based Universal Health Services, pointed to driving variability out of healthcare.  

"I think so many other industries and businesses are accustomed to delivering their products and services in very standardized ways that are determined to be most efficient, and I think we could benefit by following the lead of some of our peer industries and becoming much more focused on delivering all our care and service in that standard way in accordance with best practice protocols," he said.  

3. Jeanette Wojtalewicz, CFO of Omaha, Neb.-based CHI Health, has two views of cost containment.

"Certainly, [there is] the traditional cost containment — reducing costs in the healthcare system. But we're also working, at least in our health system, with cost containment strategies for our patients, so lower cost of care opportunities, keeping them well," she said.

These two views of cost containment "must go hand in hand because if we're going to keep people out of the hospital and our revenues go down, then we must also find ways to re-do our overall hospital and health system cost structure." 


More articles on healthcare finance:

CHI Health CFO Jeanette Wojtalewicz: 'CFOs really need to be a COO with a financial twist'
Yale New Haven Health to waive copays, other costs for furloughed federal workers
3 financial pain points for healthcare CFOs

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