Live Webinar | Medicare Payment and Reimbursement
Live Webinar | Innovation and Disruption
Live Webinar | Patient Financial Communications
Live Webinar | Operations and Other Technology
News | Leadership

Self-avowed healthcare finance fanatic heads up Mayo Clinic’s HFMA Enterprise Solutions initiative

News | Leadership

Self-avowed healthcare finance fanatic heads up Mayo Clinic’s HFMA Enterprise Solutions initiative


Image of Praveen Mekala

Praveen Mekala, CHFP, CRCR, MBA, MPH

Praveen Mekala, CHFP, CRCR, MPH, is CFO of Mayo Clinic-Minnesota and interim CFO of the Mayo Clinic Health System. He’s also passionate about healthcare finance. And earlier this year, Mekala found a new way to share that passion with colleagues: HFMA’s Enterprise Solutions membership initiative.

Mekala believes the program allows finance leadership teams to both leverage intuitive tools to drive education and allow professionals to invest in themselves. He regards this opportunity as being particularly important in the current environment when all organizations, including providers, are looking for ways to optimize employee benefits and education costs. 

“The platform also offers a growing professional community that allows folks who are healthcare finance fanatics, such as myself, to meet and socialize with peers with similar passions,” said Mekala.

That’s why he volunteered to serve as executive sponsor of Mayo Clinic’s Enterprise Solutions initiative and introduced a refreshed vision of the program this past spring. Current goals for the rebranding include enrolling more members and increasing staff certifications. Other objectives are increased creativity and outside-the-box thinking among staff, improved problem solving and productivity, and demonstrated leadership development.

Use of staff-engaging tactics

Tactics for promoting Mayo’s Enterprise Solutions offerings have included providing information about the program during new hire enrollments and in welcome letters, through a monthly newsletter, recognition of new certifications and working with the local HFMA chapter.

“To date, our efforts have been heavily focused on building buzz around internal rebranding of the program,” said Mekala. “With the many competing priorities that our leaders and professionals contend with in the workplace and in their personal lives, making professional development through HFMA a priority is no small feat.”

Achieving results

Mekala said the transition to remote work due to the pandemic also made it challenging to connect with staff in an easy, fluid fashion. Even so, as of late August, Mekala and his team had enrolled nearly 200 additional Mayo Clinic staff in the enterprise membership program and increased staff certifications by 10% since January 2021. Mekala said he’s already noticed a growth in skills among staff that has resulted not only in higher quality work but also in increased positive feedback from customers.

According to Mekala, the recent evolution of HFMA’s learning and community platforms has been key to his team’s success thus far. He said executive finance leadership engagement also has been important, including that of Mayo Clinic CFO Dennis Dahlen, CHFP, CPA, HFMA’s 2021-22 Secretary/Treasurer. 

Mekala also cited a positive team attitude and perseverance as important to the program’s success. “We are not resting on our laurels or getting complacent,” he said. “We are already thinking of tactics for 2022 and beyond as our communities fully emerge from the pandemic.”

About the Author

Crystal Milazzo

is a senior editor at HFMA, based in Beaverton, Oregon. Contact Crystal to have your professional announcement published in People.

Sign up for a free guest account and get access to five free articles every month.


Related Articles | Leadership

Column | Leadership

Jill Geisler on crisis management: Lead like Zelenskyy

Leaders must be prepared to respond to critical situations. Looking to the example currently being set by Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Jill Geisler discusses what leaders need to know and do.

Column | Leadership

New leadership roles at Adventist Health for Todd Hofheins and John Beaman

Adventist Health promotes Todd Hofheins to COO and John Beaman to CFO. Terri Hays, Leon Choiniere and Dan Bugarin also have new jobs, and Dan Moncher has retired.

Column | Leadership

Joe Fifer: Beyond healthcare: What consumers want

HFMA President and CEO Joe Fifer offers perspectives on consumers’ perceptions of value in healthcare.

Column | Healthcare Business Trends

Paul Keckley: Inflation’s impact on healthcare: 5 takeaways

For healthcare finance professionals, healthcare inflation requires intensified efforts to address five concerns: increased bad debt, increased operating costs, heightened public scrutiny of pricing policies and executive compensation, increased competition by privately funded competitors offering low-cost solutions and growth of “Occupy Healthcare” movements.