History of HFMA

In 1991, Robert M. Shelton, FHFMA, CAE, wrote a history of HFMA, which HFMA published to honor its 45th anniversary. That history, From Acorn to Oak, captured the energy and vision of HFMA's founders, as well as its growth from, as Shelton stated, "a small company of hospital accountants" to a leader in the complex and crucial field of healthcare finance. To celebrate HFMA's 60th anniversary, HFMA has released From Acorn to Oak and Beyond, a history of HFMA covering 1991-2006.

In many respects, HFMA is not the same organization it was in 1991, when the first edition of From Acorn to Oak rolled off the presses. HFMA has a larger membership. It speaks in a more authoritative voice to a more sophisticated group of professionals. It addresses issues that were barely blips on the radar in 1991, such as consumerism, payment reform, value creation, electronic health records, the capital crunch, and transparency.

However, in some respects HFMA today is the same as it was at its inception. HFMA members express the same dedication, enthusiasm, spirit of caring, and resolve that animated HFMA's founders 75 years ago. Ask today's members why they work in health care and most will say, "It gives me an opportunity to make a difference."