5 tips from hospital CFOs

Finance chiefs from hospitals and health systems have shared the following advice with Becker's Hospital Review since March 8:

1. Bert Zimmerli, executive vice president and CFO of Salt Lake City-based Intermountain Healthcare, on his personal connection to his job: "Keep a long-term focus and understand that behind every number and metric is a patient, member, family and/or customer that is vulnerable and trusting your organization to do the best for them. Don’t be afraid to take your job personally; when you look back, you’ll be glad you did."

2. Ben Spence, chief financial and business service officer of Fort Myers, Fla.-based Lee Health, on listening to employees: "Take time to really listen to the front line and to your managers, to listen to their ideas of how to improve. I firmly believe the change we need to facilitate in healthcare today is going to have to come from those who are doing the work."

3. Colleen Blye, executive vice president and CFO of New York City-based Montefiore Health System, on hospital CFOs evolving in their roles: "Always keep your eyes and ears open for opportunities and always think about how you can grow and expand your thinking and the perspective you bring to the work that you do."

4. Ms. Blye also encouraged hospital CFOs to think about how to become business partners in healthcare: "I think we have a calling now as CFOs to be far more involved in operations, rather than just financial reporting, providing data, trends and insight to our internal colleagues. I would really suggest moving from the traditional finance acumen to use those skills and techniques to be a strategic-thinking and better business partner."

5. Ben Carter, executive vice president, CFO and treasurer of Livonia, Mich.-based Trinity Health, on his three recommendations for hospital finance chiefs. "One is to listen first — don't rush to judgments or decisions; always be well-informed. The second is read the Wall Street Journal every day — and be a continuous learner. Third, just remember you don't know everything and that you can always learn from others. It is by including the opinions, information and perspectives of others that you can bring people together and be most effective."

 

More articles on healthcare finance:

Recession would rock for-profit and nonprofit hospitals, Moody's says
4 recent stories on surprise billing
California lawmakers advance surprise-billing legislation

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