'We need to be creative': What CFOs said at HFMA's annual conference

Five health system CFOs discussed issues ranging from the cost and effectiveness of care to adoption of artificial intelligence during the Healthcare Financial Management Association's annual conference, according to a June 25 HFMA article.  

The panel was moderated by Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Corewell Health CFO Matthew Cox and included the CFOs of Ascension (St. Louis), HCA Healthcare (Nashville, Tenn.), MedStar Health (Columbia, Md.) and MultiCare (Tacoma, Wash.). 

Four things to know:

1. MultiCare CFO James Lee said finance leaders need to be able to provide needed care "in the appropriate setting at the lowest possible cost." 

He said his organization has invested in a population health management company and signed more than 30 value-based payment agreements. He said these investments are crucial because of the difficulty of getting payers to reimburse at rates that can make up for inflation.

2. Mr. Cox said his health system applies a specific designation to beneficiaries of its health plan who come to the system for care. He said that, for example, if a patient needed to cancel an appointment because of car troubles, they could be offered a ride. 

"We treat those patients differently because we own the total cost of care," Mr. Cox said.

3. Ascension CFO Elizabeth Foshage said the system is experimenting with ChatGPT in areas such as radiology overreads and coding and documentation, along with nursing care plans. She said caution is justified to ensure compliance officers and legal and ethics professionals are comfortable with the new technology's applications. 

4. Mr. Lee said there has never been a greater need for innovative approaches. 

"There are solutions that we haven't tried, and healthcare tends to be a follower in a lot of different things," he said. "We are at a point in time with the workforce challenges that we need to be creative."

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