Innovation and Disruption

Fifer unveils HFMA membership overhaul

June 25, 2019 7:30 pm

HFMA revealed a series of initiatives Monday at the Annual Conference aimed at improving members’ experience, enhancing their ability to create digital communities and boosting the industry’s progress.

The first initiative, a once-in-a-generation transformation of the HFMA membership experience includes:

  • A new membership model with all-access pricing
  • A new digital experience
  • A new type of HFMA online and in-person community

“Together, these changes are designed to help you, your organizations and our healthcare system make more progress and move forward to shape a better future for healthcare,” said Joe Fifer, president and CEO of HFMA.


The changes echo Americans’ realization that experience matters more than things. So, HFMA transformed the membership experience and improved access to content, education, research and certifications.

“The full spectrum of the HFMA experience; It’s all yours, all the time, just by paying your annual membership fee,” Fifer said about the all-access model.

An overhauled website aims to organize information better, integrate different kinds of information and save members time. It offers a personalized digital experience to speed access to desired content, provide customized, curated content and allows members to choose the topics that matter most to them.

“For us at HFMA, content is all about helping our members do their jobs better,” Fifer said.

Community focus increasing

Although community is hard to find in the digital age, HFMA plans to expand its proven track record of building community by tackling issues that others were hesitant to take on, Fifer said. For instance, five years ago, HFMA brought hospital, health plan and consumer groups together to reach a consensus on recommendations and best practices for improving price transparency, patient financial communications and medical debt.

What does HFMA’s new community focus include?

  • HFMA plans to soon introduce a Consumerism Maturity Model, which is a self-assessment tool to enable healthcare organizations to determine the status of their consumerism efforts and figure out ways to move forward in their consumerism journey.
  • HFMA has partnered with Health:Further to create a transformational leadership program, which teaches healthcare finance leaders how to embrace disruption to meet the challenges of tomorrow.
  • Another community effort is the launch of “Groups” on the HFMA website, which will feature a variety of gathering spots for HFMA members to discuss and connect on a wide range of topics.

“Through our digital platform, we will partner with members to facilitate peer-to-peer collaboration opportunities, networking tools and member-led virtual events,” Fifer said.

The tools of progress

Among HFMA’s growing number of efforts to make progress on value improvement was the recent release of the L7 Cost Accounting Adoption Model. The L7 model, developed in collaboration with Strata Decision Technology, is the industry’s first road map to help healthcare providers access accurate cost data via the use of advanced cost accounting. It is an essential tool for transitioning to value-based care.

“We have noticed a resurgence of interest in cost accounting the last few years, and I say it is about time,” Fifer said.

Also coming is a collaboration on a chargemaster reform initiative, designed to help the industry move past an outdated charge system to a system that is right for an era of consumerism.

“I am not sure we can get everyone that needs to be on board to agree, but it would be a first for HFMA, initiating a comprehensive restructuring of how the hospital industry bills for its services,” Fifer said.

The efforts are the beginning of what will be an ongoing effort to stay more aligned than ever with the needs of HFMA members. 

“We have built the infrastructure, the metrics and most importantly the commitment to use a data-driven consumer-first process to stay in touch with what you want,” Fifer said.


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