We are moving into an accountable care organization (ACO) model this year. What skills should we be targeting for our finance staff to ramp up so they are ready to handle some of the new concepts and strategies?
Answer 1: The accounting and finance skills depend on the type of ACO. A financial analyst is critical for determining whether the ACO is maintaining its patient base and meeting the metrics set forth by the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation. Using these skills, the accountant should learn how to accrue for the expected shared savings that will be earned by the hospital. I think we are going to see more at-risk entities booking an incurred but not reported (IBNR) asset account (similar to a payer).
This question was answered by: Curtis H. Bernstein, CHFP, CPA/ABV, principal, Pinnacle Healthcare Consulting, and is a member of HFMA’s Colorado Chapter.
Answer 2: I would recommend a statistical analyst that can mine data and point out trends.
This question was answered by: Caswell Samms, network CFO, Lincoln Medical Center and Harlem Hospital, New York City Public Health System.
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