Stepping into the world of hospital finance will open your eyes to the challenges hospital leadership faces in today’s technology-driven world. In April, at the IPMI Healthcare Finance Institute in Atlanta, Georgia, Sentry joined leading hospital chief financial officers and chief executive officers for a “think tank” to discuss financial management in an evolving healthcare system.
With previous White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci (who served briefly under the current administration in July 2017) as the keynote speaker, the forum addressed how to harmonize the political climate with the consumerism that faces health systems today. Sentry’s Timothy Lantz, senior vice president and general manager, and co-chair Casey Williams, vice president of patient engagement at RevSpring, kicked off opening remarks and welcomed the group of hospital leaders to 2 ½ days of thought-provoking discussion on value-based purchasing models, consumerism, transformational management and financial analytics.
The first day provided insight into costing analytics. Anna-Clare Milazzo, Sentry’s former senior data scientist, took attendees on a journey into reviewing the at-risk revenue streams and ever-increasing delivery costs that health systems face in cost accounting. She discussed building a defensible charge master for pharmaceuticals and supplies and how to mitigate risk through the use of tools. Her focus then turned to reviewing data from disparate systems to identify revenue integrity improvement opportunities, including how to develop and maintain costing models using relative value units (RVUs).
Financial healthcare ‘think tank’
Adaptation is critical. Hospital leaders discussed building ego-less organizations to survive the future—including both inpatient care delivery in the home as well as the continued shift to outpatient care. Key points included:
- Cost controls of service delivery areas
- Revenue cycle equals patient experience
- Emphasis on population health to improve cost savings
- Consumerism being key—as costs increase, innovation surrounding the customer will be integral in bringing the customer what they want
At Sentry, we have designed tools to help hospitals of varying sizes bend the cost curve. By providing charge master review function through Datanext and cost accounting at the service delivery level through Agilum, hospitals stay in control of their margins. While the world of hospital finance operates under traditional financial principles, new technology will continue to help us achieve improved financial outcomes, which will lead to improved patient satisfaction in a new era of high-cost deductible and patient awareness of costs. We owe it to our patients to bend the curve—in their favor and ours.