Column | Financial Leadership

For Healthcare Finance Leaders, Imagining Tomorrow Involves Risk

Column | Financial Leadership

For Healthcare Finance Leaders, Imagining Tomorrow Involves Risk

“You must lose a fly to catch a trout.” –George Herbert

As someone who loves fishing, I am well acquainted with the truth behind that quote. It also resonates for me as a healthcare finance professional.

 

 

Whenever I have the opportunity to share my “Imagine Tomorrow” theme with HFMA colleagues and others, I acknowledge that imagining a better tomorrow certainly involves some risks and even a willingness to fail. Taking on risk, however, can be the first step toward realizing our vision for what the future could be.

The same holds true for us as healthcare finance leaders managing enterprise risk for our organizations. If we want to reduce costs, provide better health outcomes, and improve patient satisfaction, we must simultaneously seize opportunities and manage risks. It’s a tall order, and this issue of hfm provides a look into how some of our colleagues are approaching that challenge.

My Geisinger teams and I did our fair share of managing risk during the 23 years I served as the health system’s CFO. One particularly memorable example was initiating sponsorship of a Medicare Advantage HMO plan in the 90s. We leveraged our experience with commercial lines but accelerated our innovations in management of chronic conditions. Regulatory risks remained. Not everything worked as planned, but we had lots of success and outperformed our Medicare fee-for-service results.

If you’re looking for cutting-edge information and inspiration to address risk-management challenges, you’ll want to attend HFMA’s Annual Conference June 23-26 in Orlando. This year’s program includes a variety of educational sessions designed to provide attendees with information and tools to successfully assess and manage risk. Examples include a three-hour workshop on building a blueprint to support risk-based contracts and breakout sessions on topics such as driving optimal performance in a risk-based world, ensuring cybersecurity, and becoming risk-ready with ACOs. There’s also a case study on “Positioning Physician Leaders to Promote Patient Safety and Mitigate Risk.”

For more information on these programs and others addressing the issue of enterprise risk, please visit the Annual Conference 2019 website at annual.hfma.org. This year’s event has been designed to inspire attendees to boldly act by providing the tools needed to lead change and deliver on the promise of transformation. I hope to see you there.

Meanwhile, keep imagining that better tomorrow. Just like fishing, the rewards far outweigh the inherent risks.

About the Authors

Kevin Brennan, FHFMA, CPA

is HFMA's 2018-19 National Chair.

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