Live Webinar | Medicare Payment and Reimbursement
Save
Live Webinar | Innovation and Disruption
Save
Live Webinar | Patient Financial Communications
Save
Live Webinar | Operations and Other Technology
Save
News | Cost of Care

HFMA Chair to finance leaders: I dare you to move

News | Cost of Care

HFMA Chair to finance leaders: I dare you to move

  • Among the reasons leaders need to "dare to move" is patients cannot afford healthcare.
  • Healthcare is entering a significant period of transition, where the legacy workforce is still in place, even amid waves of automation.
  • Allen urged inspiring others by joining his "Share your dare" campaign, in which leaders describe a personal instance of taking a chance — successful or not. 

Citing historic examples of leaders who surmounted seemingly impossible odds, the new Chair of HFMA Michael M. Allen urged healthcare finance leaders to dare to take on current massive challenges.

Past major healthcare accomplishments were only possible because leaders dared to undertake them, according to Allen in his address to attendees of the HFMA Annual Conference 2019.

“When was the last time you did something bold, uncertain?” asked Allen, FHFMA, CPA, the CFO at OSF HealthCare in Peoria, Illinois.

Among the many big, complex and important challenges confronting finance leaders in healthcare, the biggest is the cost of care.

“People cannot afford our care; I dare you to move,” Allen said. “We have a delivery system and financing system that emphasizes sick care over well care.”

Allen also cited pressures from the “surging war” for outpatient care, which aims to provide greater convenience and lower cost. Another part of that is technology that enables the so-called hospital at home programs.

“People cannot understand the bills we send them,” Allen said. “Heck, I don’t understand them sometimes.”

The problem stems in part from the strains between those who pay for care and those who deliver care, which leaves patients caught in between them.

Another challenge is that the healthcare industry has failed to use technology to improve the quality of its work and reduce administrative costs.

Allen said healthcare is entering a significant period of transition, where the legacy workforce is still in place, even amid waves of automation, machine learning and artificial intelligence.

“We are far behind most other industries using automation and technology to make our work better and to make the experience for our patients better, easier and on their terms,” Allen said.

In response, leaders need to create the finance workforce of the future.

“All of our jobs will be changing, some jobs will not exist, and new jobs will emerge,” Allen said.

Break it to make it

Allen criticized “smallness, protecting turf, and playing it safe.”

“See, I’ve come to realize that if you want something to change, something where the stakes are too high to let it ride, then you have to break it,” Allen said.

Fear and failure may be holding leaders back from the major changes they need to undertake.

“Failure can be painful. But failure can open up new options, and maybe a path to the greater goal that otherwise would have never been seen,” Allen said.

Especially among high achievers, the idea that it’s not okay to fail can be dangerous, Allen said.

“And if you aren’t out there, then you can’t make a difference,” Allen said. “Embrace fear.”

As part of his term, Allen launched the 1000 Dares Project, to encourage and celebrate daring to take action.

“Share your dare,” Allen urged. He suggested attendees share undertakings that made them uncomfortable, where they left the safety of the familiar, where they faced their fears or where they embraced a failure. No dare moments are too big or too small to be included in the 1,000 dares Allen hopes to collect.

“I‘ve got a couple of thousand overachievers in this room, so I expect we destroy that goal by the end of July!” Allen said. “And if it goes slow, or we don’t reach 1000? I will embrace the failure, learn from it, and keep moving.”

About the Author

Rich Daly, HFMA senior writer/editor,

is a senior writer/editor in HFMA’s Washington, D.C., office. Follow Rich on Twitter: @rdalyhealthcare

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

Advertisements

Related Articles | Cost of Care

News | Healthcare Business Trends

Latest financial metrics for hospitals show reasons for optimism but also persistent challenges

Hospital financial performance partially recovered in March as patient volumes returned to something closer to normal after a significant downturn during the omicron wave.

News | Cost of Care

News Briefs: Federal funding bill addresses hospitals’ 340B eligibility concerns, extends telehealth waivers

A monthly roundup of top news for healthcare finance professionals.

Article | Waste Reduction

Providing healthcare organizations with the right data to understand cost and margins

To address the healthcare industry’s challenges in waste, cost of care and inefficient data usage, one company discusses its support system to assist in decision support and for understanding cost and margins.

News | Medicare Payment and Reimbursement

MedPAC says 2023 hospital payments shouldn’t increase in response to COVID-19

CMS shouldn’t increase Medicare payments to hospitals for the upcoming year beyond the annual update that is based on current law, according to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission.