Research & Trends

HFMA regularly conducts research on the current state of healthcare financial management and emerging trends in the field.

Each quarter, HFMA surveys its members on important trends including net patient revenue, staffing, cost of care and technology implementation. Over time, HFMA’s Outlook Survey offers a view into the future of healthcare finance to help you make more informed and relevant decisions.

Research: Cost Management in Healthcare

This report, published by HFMA and the Institute of Management Accountants, synthesizes key takeaways from roundtable discussions with 20 leaders in healthcare financial management, accounting and analytics roles. “Cost Management in Healthcare: Status Quo and Opportunities” identifies opportunities and presents actionable recommendations for helping healthcare organizations improve quality while lowering costs. The report features insights on gearing up to deliver greater value through efficient data analysis and strategic insight generation.

Report: Promoting optimal allocation of nursing resources

Cultivating good working relationships between nursing and finance leaders is the key to achieving optimal nurse staffing, which in turn improves other key outcomes. HFMA teamed with the American Nurses Association and the American Organization for Nursing Leadership to develop this report, which includes five action steps for improving allocation of nursing resources. The report is also endorsed by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses.

Conference report: Social determinants of health (SDOH)

HFMA’s 2019 Thought Leadership Retreat was dedicated to sharing ideas about how providers, health plans and other stakeholders can identify and implement a range of SDOH-related innovations to improve the health of individuals and communities.

Download the executive summary

  • Plus, listen to HFMA podcast interviews with two speakers at the retreat:  Marla Weston, former CEO of the American Nurses Association, on how hospitals can address SDOH in their everyday business practices; and Nancy Johnson, CEO of El Rio Community Health Center in Tucson, on how her organization leverages technology to tackle SDOH.

Research: Reducing the total cost of care

Have early experiments with value-based payment models reduced the total cost of care? How has industry consolidation affected the cost of care? These questions are addressed by this study, “What Is Driving Total Cost of Care? An Analysis of Factors Influencing Total Cost of Care in U.S. Healthcare Markets.” It was conducted by HFMA in collaboration with Leavitt Partners and McManis Consulting, with support from the Commonwealth Fund.

Download the executive summary
Read the press release
Read an overview of the research findings
Explore HFMA’s resources on reducing the total cost of care
Discover the benefits of a contemporary approach to cost accounting

Research: Hospital mergers & acquisitions

In partnership with the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, HFMA conducted a study of more than 750 merger transactions between 2008 and 2014 to examine how M&A impacts a hospital’s performance. After factoring in market and hospital characteristics, the research revealed that acquired hospitals, on average, experienced a post-transaction decline in operating margins, revenue, and expenses that typically lasted two years. Researchers identified eight strategies and business practices related to integration planning and execution that correlated with achievement of higher margins.

View a presentation of the research findings
Read HFMA’s report, Acquisition and Affiliation Strategies
Read HFMA’s environmental assessment on industry consolidation
Hospital Mergers and Acquisitions: Checklist for Success

Studies conducted by HFMA

HFMA periodically coordinates in-depth studies with healthcare finance organizations and reports the findings. Discover what hospitals and health systems are thinking about labor trends, value-based payment, revenue cycle technology, and more. 

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HFMA compensation surveys

HFMA publishes a compensation survey on 12 key healthcare finance positions, ranging from CFO to accountant. 

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HFMA key financial statistics & ratio medians

Use our collection of key hospital financial statistics and ratios—including operating margin, days in accounts receivable, and average length of stay—as benchmarks for your healthcare organization.

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