Finance executives identify top stressors and offer outlook for year ahead: 10 findings

The majority of healthcare industry finance executives are increasingly optimistic regarding U.S. economic growth and most financial decision-makers expect to increase their capital expenditures in 2016, according to a recent survey by TD Bank.

Finance executives, including CFOs, comptrollers, treasurers and directors of finance, across the East Coast were polled for the survey. The 300 executives surveyed are from companies with annual sales of $50 million to more than $250 million.

Here are 10 findings from the survey.

1. Fifty-four percent of respondents in the healthcare industry expressed increased optimism regarding U.S. economic growth in the year ahead.

2. Fifty-seven percent of finance executives from the healthcare industry expressed increased optimism regarding their companies' performance for 2016.

3. Seventy-one percent of healthcare industry finance executives said an interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve would not impact their likelihood to borrow funds. Of those who said a rate increase would affect their borrowing, 26 percent said they would likely borrow less.

4. "Rising interest rates may create headline noise which impacts the stock market, but executives are prepared for an eventual rate increase and are moving forward with investments in their infrastructure, facilities and people," said Greg Braca, executive vice president and head of corporate and specialty banking at TD Bank. "It's clear that businesses have adjusted to the 'new normal' and are focused on growing within that environment."

5. Two-thirds of finance executives in the healthcare industry expect to increase their capital expenditures next year. However, the increase will be minimal, with 23 percent of finance executives indicating any increase in spending would be between 1 percent and 4 percent.

6. Existing facilities and technology are the two areas healthcare companies would be most likely to increase capital expenditures for in 2016, with expected increases of 54 percent and 51 percent, respectively.

7. "The survey results are promising, and reflect what we're seeing across our Maine to Florida footprint," said Fred Graziano, executive vice president and head of regional commercial banking for TD Bank. "Businesses are feeling positive about their ability to perform in current and near-term economic conditions, and ready to borrow and make investments."

8. When looking at responses from finance executives across all industries surveyed, the most prevalent business issue that financial decision-makers would like to see 2016 presidential candidates address is healthcare reform, followed by government efficiency.

9. Timeliness and collecting payments was the challenge to streamlining cash flow cycle and maximizing working capital most cited by finance executives.

10. Aside from the day-to-day aspects of managing their companies' finances, the two most-cited stressors among finance executives were liability for risk and resource planning.

More articles on healthcare finance:

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