Over the last few months, HFMA’s executive leaders have fanned out across the globe to share how financing can be a catalyst for preventing future pandemics and to bring strategies to a wider audience on how to engage in a paradigm shift toward global health.
Pandemic indicators support funding and improve health
On Sept. 1, Mary Mirabelli, FHFMA, HFMA’s senior VP of corporate strategy, was joined by leaders from the World Health Organization and the World Bank at the H20 Summit to discuss governance for a new global Financial Intermediary Fund (FIF) for pandemic preparedness. The event was hosted by the G20 Health & Development Partnership, led by Alan Donnelly, executive chairman.
“I am a clinician at heart – an occupational therapist – committed to regaining and ensuring human functionality at all levels,” Mirabelli said. “It is clear we need to be better prepared for the next pandemic, and we know the next one will happen in our lifetimes. My hope is to contribute by bringing business and financial acumen to support successful, measurable, transparent and sustainable preparedness across the globe. We have learned much in the last two-plus years. It is time to put those learnings to work.”
Mirabelli noted that the international community can identify weak links in preparedness among countries and nudge or compel them to rectify these gaps. Tools such as pandemic indicators can provide strong reliable data to demonstrate funding needs and bring forward the best ideas to improve health.
A new way of thinking about health investment
A paradigm shift in how we invest in health contributes not only to pandemic prevention but also to overall global health. On Oct. 10 at the Leaders’ Forum and Global Health Exhibition in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Joseph J. Fifer, FHFMA, CPA, president and CEO, HFMA, shared strategies for bringing about a paradigm shift in health investment.
First, Fifer explained why it is important to reframe our thinking toward supporting health around the world. Chronic conditions, a major cost driver, are strongly linked to social determinants of health. In the long term, addressing social determinants is the key to reducing the total cost of care.
Embracing value-based health and the importance of social determinants supports sustainability, cost-effective health, and builds healthier, economically viable communities, Fifer said. Moving down the continuum toward value-based health requires development of six organizational capabilities:
- People and culture
- Community and care integration
- Data analytics and actionable insights
- Financial sustainability and affordability
- Health measurement and performance
- A value-based health orientation among front-line clinicians
HFMA has created a roadmap for developing each of these capabilities.
Addressing workforce challenges and how the pandemic will shape our future
In the aftermath of COVID-19, global leaders are finding themselves managing many repercussions, including a depleted healthcare workforce. On Nov. 10, Richard Gundling, FHFMA, CMA, HFMA’s senior VP, content and professional practice guidance, led a discussion on COVID-19 recovery and post-pandemic healthcare workforce and other challenges. Experiences were shared from the Republic of Korea, Zambia, Saudi Arabia, and the United States, covering workforce management, mental health issues and burnout of hospital staff, and organizational cultures during the pandemic.
Also, addressed was easing the trauma caused by taking care of COVID-19 patients and programs to support post-discharge care to patients experiencing long-term post COVID-19 symptoms.
Gundling explained that as we continue to move to a post-COVID-19 environment, health leaders should continue innovations developed in response to the pandemic. This includes changes to care management particularly around patient safety and quality and more holistic relationships with employees. There is a theme of accelerating efficiency, bolstering resiliency and improving communication, Gundling said. And by reflecting on those experiences, he urged health system leaders to “communicate and overcommunicate” with staff, community, government health policy and finance decision-makers about their responses to challenges of the pandemic and how they will shape future responses.