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In this Business Profile, Doug Fenstermaker, managing partner and executive vice president of health care, Warbird Consulting Partners, shares strategies to leverage outsourced CFO expertise to lead special projects or fill interim roles while recruiting is underway.
Warbird provides CFO and other senior leader healthcare expertise as well as on-demand project teams to assist diverse industry clients in managing a full range of financial, organizational, and operational issues in addition to offering accounting and financial advisory services. We team with hospitals, medical group practices, and public and private healthcare companies to improve performance, comply with complex regulations and bond covenants and restrictions, reduce costs, recover from distress, leverage technology, and stimulate growth. Services fall into a few distinct areas.
CFO network. Warbird’s Healthcare CFO Consulting Network is a national alliance of accomplished hospital and health system finance executives who work with incumbent CFOs on specific projects and initiatives. Members of the alliance are seasoned practitioner consultants who can provide everything from strategic guidance on navigating reform-related opportunities to peer-to-peer mentoring to hands-on assistance with major initiatives, such as practice acquisition. The mission of the CFO Consulting Network is to help make CFOs successful.
On demand services. Warbird also offers on-demand interim strategic and financial management talent until an organization is able to fill the position permanently. Common roles we step into include CFO, controller, revenue cycle leadership, and patient accounting leadership. In addition, we offer project management solutions. We can consult on all aspects of finance and accounting as well as complex regulatory issues related to Medicaid, Medicare, and healthcare reform. The project management team delivers superior project oversight, deliverables management, and quality assurance to ensure client satisfaction.
Warbird also has a healthcare IT consulting division that can assess, optimize, and remediate IT problems with an eye toward better financial performance and results. Warbird’s work in this area can provide project management to guide revenue cycle, clinical systems, and other hospital/physician IT projects. Additionally, we have a Business Solutions Network that provides access to a very select group of vetted and referenced healthcare niche business services from companies around the United States to help providers address very focused accounting and finance issues.
The biggest challenge over the next three to five years will be the ability to adjust to the magnitude of changes occurring due to healthcare reform. Significant change in strategic and operational direction will be needed as care continues to transform from inpatient settings to outpatient, community-based settings.
Also, financial pressures are significant. Hospitals are feeling not only the pain of reduced inpatient volumes but also declines in third-party payer and Medicare reimbursement. In this difficult environment, hospitals must completely reexamine the types and structure of services they are providing to best deliver high-quality care with efficiency and address market change with agility.
There is no substitute for having a cadre of senior CFOs with breadth and depth of experience to draw on for viable and creative solutions during this period of industry transformation.
Warbird’s CFO Network represents individuals with expertise in varied types of healthcare organizations, who offer the needed perspective to enhance decision making and leadership. For example, we recently worked with a rapidly growing Midwest physician practice that had just acquired another 600 physicians. The organization lacked the financial infrastructure to support this level of growth. By drawing on the guidance of a Warbird CFO who has successfully navigated similar situations, the organization’s leaders are now moving quickly to put systems in place to generate the financial statements they need to maintain integrity and communicate effectively with an affiliated health system.
We’ve also worked with a number of hospitals that are experiencing technical defaults on bonds because their financial operations have triggered financial ratios that violate the bond covenants. We help them identify and execute a plan to improve those ratios and assist in communicating that plan to bond holders. Warbird has tools to help forecast the impacts on financial ratios of specific improvement initiatives undertaken by the hospital or system.
In some instances, organizations are finding that it is taking an inordinate amount of time to recruit a “strategic” CFO. With the pace of industry change, organizations cannot afford financial strategy to be on hold, so they will frequently engage one of our CFOs on an interim basis to both manage operations and assist with troubleshooting and the financial strategic framework.
We find that large and small organizations often experience different types of needs. In a large system, for example, they may hire one of our CFOs to expand their own bandwidth for day-to-day operations for a period of a few months while the incumbent CFO focuses on key strategic priorities.
In medium and smaller organizations, the challenge is more often lack of the bench strength they need if they lose a key individual. A search can frequently take six to nine months, so it’s helpful to lock in someone with very little learning curve to manage board, investor, and rating agency relationships as well as general financial operations as needed until the position is filled.
In all sizes of organizations, leaders benefit from engaging a CFO with expertise that precisely fits their projects and challenges. Warbird’s CFOs come from various settings, including physician-driven organizations, children’s hospitals, academic medical centers, and small, medium, and large integrated systems. Some Warbird CFOs are ACO and physician relationship experts, and others excel at transferring assets to different uses, directing outsourcing strategies, performing SWOT assessments, leading complex managed care negotiations, or overseeing post-turnaround implementation. In all cases, Warbird’s CFOs help incumbent CFOs expand their own bandwidth to do more at a faster pace with the quality only a tenured CFO can bring.
The important thing is that you select the talent you need. To get full value out of this type of service, it’s important to carefully consider what you may need to drive the types of results you are seeking within a specific time period. Having this sense of specific business direction allows us to match the right individual to the organization and supports a good cultural fit. Because we are CFOs ourselves, we understand the role and function of the CFO in achieving timely deliverables and can “speak your language.” As we strive to help make CFOs successful, we can help them each achieve their annual and longer term goals and objectives quickly and efficiently.
Visit our site and review the case studies and thought leadership pieces in the section “Healthcare Strategic and Financial Services.” There is an excellent case study on how we helped Boston Children’s Hospital increase international market share. You’ll also learn how we provided a customized healthcare finance team to Trinity Mother Frances Hospitals and Clinics (Tyler, Texas) to help the organization keep pace with key financial initiatives that were underway when its CFO retired.
Our CFOs are recognized thought leaders and keep current in the industry. All of them are active members of the Healthcare Roundtable for CFOs and some are members of the Health Management Academy’s CFO Forum and HFMA. These organizations help the Warbird CFOs remain current in all of the healthcare industry’s issues and business needs. We also are frequent contributors to thought leadership articles in the media on topics that range from ACOs to government affairs to physician-administrator relations. Many of these articles can be accessed on our website under “Healthcare News.”
Publication Date: Friday, August 01, 2014
A leader from McKesson discusses how healthcare reform is forcing hospitals and health systems to take a different approach to capacity management and patient flow.
Patient financial engagement is more challenging than ever – and more critical. With patient responsibility as a percentage of revenue on the rise, providers have seen their billing-related costs and accounts receivable levels increase. If increasing collection yield and reducing costs are a priority for your organization, the metrics outlined in this presentation will provide the framework you need to understand what’s working and what’s not, in order to guide your overall patient financial engagement initiatives and optimize results.
Emad Rizk, MD, president and CEO of Accretive Health, discusses the uncertainty facing hospitals and the transitions affecting revenue cycle management.
No two patients are the same. Each has a very personal healthcare experience, and each has distinct financial needs and preferences that have an impact on how, when and if they chose to pay their healthcare bill. It’s no longer effective to apply static billing techniques to solve the complex challenge of collecting balances from patients. The need to tailor financial conversations and payment options to individual needs and preferences is critical. This presentation provides 10 recommendations that will not only help you improve payment performance through a more tailored approach, but take control of rising collection costs.
Jim Bohnsack, vice president, solution & corporate development for Conifer Health Solutions, explains how the company helps healthcare providers leverage data to deliver better outcomes while optimizing reimbursement for all payment arrangements.
This white paper, written by Apex Vice President of Solutions and Services, Carrie Romandine, discusses the importance of patient segmentation and messaging specifically related to the patient revenue cycle. Applying strategic messaging that is tailored to each patient type will not only better educate consumers on payment options specific to their billing needs, but it will maximize the amount collected before sending to collections. Further, targeted messaging should be applied across all points of patient interaction (i.e. point of service, customer service, patient statements) and analyzed regularly for maximized results.
Steve Scibetta, senior director of channel sales for Ontario Systems' healthcare product line, shares insights into effectively managing receivables.
This white paper, written by Apex President Patrick Maurer, discusses methods to increase patient adoption of online payments. Providers are now seeking ways to incrementally collect more payments due from patients as well as speeding up the rate of collections. This white paper shows why patient-centric approaches to online payment portals are important complements to traditional provider-centric approaches.
Elena White, vice president of risk, quality, and network solutions for Optum, discusses how healthcare providers can leverage data and technology as they enable risk in their organization.
Increased electronic engagement between healthcare providers and patients provides significant opportunities for improving revenue cycle metrics and encouraging patients to access EHRs. This article, written by Apex Founder and CEO Brian Kueppers, explores a number of strategies to create synergy between patient billing, online payment portals and electronic health record (EHR) software to realize a high ROI in speed to payment, patient satisfaction and portal adoption for meaningful use.
Somnia President and CEO Marc Koch, MD, MBA, explains how hospitals can drive transformative change in the perioperative experience for outstanding clinical and financial outcomes.
Faced with a rising tide of bad debt, a large Southeastern healthcare system was seeing a sharp decline in net patient revenues. The need to improve collections was dire. By integrating critical tools and processes, the health system was able to increase online payments and improve its financial position. Taking a holistic approach increased overall collection yield by 10% while costs came down because the number of statements sent to patients fell by 10%, which equated to a $1.3M annualized improvement in patient cash over a six-month period. This case study explains how.
PMMC President Roger L. Shaul discusses the effects of healthcare reform on revenue cycle management and how PMMC's products help clients adapt to a changing financial environment.
With the ICD10 deadline quickly approaching and daily responsibilities not slowing down, final preparations for October 1 require strategic prioritization and laser focus.
Greg Burgess, Founder and Chief Product Officer at Burgess Group shares insights and opportunities for payment integrity in the rapidly changing healthcare IT landscape.
Read how Gwinnett Medical Center provides clear connections to financial information, offers multiple payment options for patients, and gives onsite staff the ability to collect payments at multiple points throughout the care process.
Read how Orlando Health was able to perform deeper dives into claims data to help the health system see claim rejections more quickly–even on the front end–and reduce A/R days.
To maintain fiscal fitness and boost patient satisfaction and loyalty, healthcare providers need visibility into when and how much they will be paid–by whom–and the ability to better navigate obstacles to payment. They need payment clarity. This whitepaper illuminates this concept that is winning fans at forward-thinking hospitals.
Financial services staff are always looking for ways to improve the verification, billing and collections processes, and Munson Healthcare is no different. Read about how they streamlined the billing process to produce cleaner bills on the front end and helped financial services staff collect more than $1 million in additional upfront annual revenue in one year.
Effective revenue cycle management can be a challenge for any hospital, but for smaller providers it is even tougher. Read how Wallace Thomson identified unreimbursed procedures, streamlined claims management, and improved its ability to determine charity eligibility.
Before launching an energy-efficiency initiative, it’s important to build a solid business case and understand the funding options and potential incentives that are available. Healthcare leaders should consider taking the steps outlined in the whitepaper to ease the process of gaining approval, piloting, implementing, and supporting sustainability projects. You will find that investing in sustainability and energy efficiency helps hospitals add cash to their bottom line. Discover how hospitals and health systems have various options for funding energy-efficient and renewable-energy initiatives, depending on their current financial structure and strategy.
Health care is a dynamic mergers and acquisitions market with numerous hospitals and health systems contemplating or pursuing formal arrangements with other entities. These relationships often pose a strategic benefit, such as enhancing competencies across the continuum, facilitating economies of scale, or giving the participants a competitive advantage in a crowded market. Underpinning any profitable acquisition is a robust capital planning strategy that ensures an organization reserves sufficient funds and efficiently onboards partners that advance the enterprise mission and values.
The success of healthcare mergers, acquisitions, and other affiliations is predicated in part on available capital, and the need for and sources of funding are considerations present throughout the partnering process, from choosing a partner to evaluating an arrangement’s capital needs to selecting an integration model to finding the right money source to finance the deal. This whitepaper offers several strategies that health system leaders have used to assess and manage capital needs for their growing networks.
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HFMA's MAP App is a web-based application that helps organizations track results, compare data with peers, and improve revenue cycle performance. Schedule a demo.
HFMA’s Buyer’s Resource Guide is a comprehensive vendor directory that helps healthcare finance professionals find products and services.
Access all the tools and resources you need to develop your personal skills. Organized into distinct career levels, this tool creates a career plan specific to your career goals.
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