Column | Staff Development

HFMA exceeds 50,000 members for first time in its history

Column | Staff Development

HFMA exceeds 50,000 members for first time in its history

Enterprise membership ranks have swelled to 91 organizations, with staff training and deep content for financial and nonfinancial employees cited as big drivers.

The announcement comes fewer than two years after launching an Enterprise membership program, which has grown to 91 organizations with employees in all 50 states. HFMA’s membership has seen nearly 25% growth since 2018.

"I’m pleased to have so many new healthcare professionals joining our ranks," said HFMA President and CEO Joseph J. Fifer, FHFMA, CPA. "I think this is validation we are providing the right leadership and tools at the right time. We take seriously the responsibility of preparing healthcare leaders and teams to meet longstanding industry challenges while preparing them for today’s more consumer-focused environment."

Organization-specific membership

HFMA’s decision to create an organization-specific option for membership stems from years of requests from providers to adopt a flat-fee model for group membership, says Rich Lucas, HFMA director of channel assets.

"We had always viewed membership as an individual journey and we were hesitant to change the way in which members experience HFMA," Lucas said. "We’ve seen massive growth in HFMA membership at our Enterprise model organizations, and that goes back to the value HFMA brings these organizations by helping their employees develop the skills they need to tackle the healthcare industry’s biggest challenges. There’s a lot of excitement among our members as we see these numbers grow."

HFMA's Enterprise membership program allows an organization’s entire team to become members for a single enrollment fee, with all the benefits of its individual all-access membership. Provider organizations range from large health systems to smaller critical access hospitals, as well as payers and healthcare business partners.

"We know that high-performing companies are almost five times as likely to have an extensive learning culture," said Bill Casey, senior vice president, member relations and business development, HFMA. "It was important that HFMA’s Enterprise membership program not only address growing pressures to reduce the cost of association membership and education, but also support employee development in the short term and long term to support organizations' success."

In an era of increased patient out-of-pocket responsibility, Lucas said, many organizations point to:

  • HFMA’s training sessions as a good way to teach patient access staff how to successfully engage patients in their financial responsibility for care
  • The breadth of the financial management content provided for both financial and nonfinancial managers

Enterprise members' stories

Geisinger Health, which became an Enterprise member in July 2018, enrolled all patient financial services team members in HFMA's online training program for patient financial communications. The results were increased cash collections and improved revenue cycle performance.

Matt Cox, CFO at Grand Rapids, Michigan-based Spectrum Health, created incentives for his staff to get certified through HFMA. To date, almost 250 Spectrum employees have gotten an HFMA certification, which he believes strengthens the entire organization.  

"When we have people who become certified, they've already bought in," he said. "They know, because of what they learned through the certification, that there’s need for change. Now we have 250 more people who are change agents in our organization."

HFMA resources like certifications help Spectrum staff get a new perspective on their place in the organization, Cox said.

"If I have a finance person who’s embedded in the medical group or embedded in a hospital or at a corporate service and someone questions why we’re doing something, a lot of times they can connect those dots, and that helps with speed," he said. "It just helps us do things better and faster."

Henry County Health Center in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, recently enrolled in the Enterprise membership program to take advantage of enhanced training opportunity for staff.

"The unemployment rate in our area is so low, we don’t usually get new hires in revenue cycle who have healthcare experience," said Charlie Hammel, Henry County’s revenue cycle director and centralized scheduling project manager. "Access to customer service education through HFMA, at a much lower cost than individual membership, will be a huge benefit to our organization."

Easy navigation of resources

To help organizations navigate HFMA’s vast resources, client services representatives are assigned to each organization. This allows for a more deliberate, customized experience, Lucas said, so each Enterprise member is directed to the most relevant content, from webinars to online certifications to local chapter-level activity.

"We’re seeing members using HFMA resources like never before," Lucas said. "Our certifications are going through the roof."

HFMA's Enterprise members include providers, healthcare consultancies and companies from different industries, like banking. Recent signings include CVS Health, Ascension and Mayo Clinic. In addition, 13 critical access hospitals joined the Enterprise ranks in the last three months of 2019.

Learn more about HFMA's Enterprise membership.

Rich Lucas, HFMA director of channel assets, says Enterprise membership is popular because it is cost effective and supports employee skill development.

Matt Cox, CFO at Spectrum Health, created incentives for his staff to get certified through HFMA.

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