3 healthcare CFOs share best practices for running a finance team

Hospital and health system CFOs are increasingly taking on more responsibility at their organizations as many of them are transitioning to become a strategic partner who works side-by-side with the CEO. As their duties expand, it is important they have a strong system and team in place providing them with the support they need.

Below, three hospital and health system CFOs share their best practices for developing and running a finance team.  

1. Jeff Taylor, CFO of St. Luke's Health System in Boise, Idaho, said effectively running a hospital or health system finance team "amounts to instilling a culture of discipline" in all that the team does, "whether that's timely reporting of information, providing operational leaders and physicians with information upon which they can act, or hiring the right people."

Mr. Taylor also said it's becoming increasingly important for CFOs to look outside of the healthcare industry for management capabilities. "As provider systems look to assume greater financial and performance risk associated with managing the total cost for defined populations, competencies found in the payer market are increasingly important," he said.

2. Tim Olson, CFO of ThedaCare in Appleton, Wis., said effectively running a finance team takes "thinking beyond finance." He believes part of the role of a hospital or health system's finance team is "to help the organization think about all of the key success objectives together." At ThedaCare, that includes safety, quality, customers, people and financial stewardship.

He also said its vital a finance team understands the work it produces and the true value it brings to the end user. "When we don't see the value in the product/request, the expectation is that we question the work with the end user to understand the need and value."

3. Talana Bell, CFO of Flowers Hospital in Dothan, Ala., advises hospital and health system CFOs to surround themselves with people who share the same passion for high quality.

She also said its vital CFOsknow their most profitable service lines and how to grow them. After that understanding is established, she advises CFOs and their teams "to develop strategies to grow the business and find other profitable lines."

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