Finance Still Tops List of Hospital CEO Concerns

Posted on: March 1, 2016

Healthcare reform implementation falls off the list of top 10 concerns in annual ACHE survey

The pendulum continues to swing back toward financial. Releasing its annual list of hospital CEOs’ top concerns, the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) president Deborah Bowen says senior leaders “have their eye on their organizations’ financial strategy, and they are also making strides in moving forward with patient safety and quality initiatives.”

As a category, financial challenges typically retains the top spot in ACHE’s annual survey. But for the first time since 2009, healthcare reform is nowhere to be found on ACHE’s top 10. This seems to be another indication that healthcare organizations have moved beyond clinical IT implementations and now are focusing on revenue cycle management.

The top five financial challenges cited by the 350 hospital CEOs surveyed were:
– Transition from volume- to value-based care (65%)
– Medicaid reimbursement (including adequacy and timeliness of payments) (62%)
– Bad debt, including uncollectible emergency department charges (57%)
– Increasing costs, including for staff and supplies (57%)
– How to reduce operating costs (56%)

The survey validates why Florida Hospital and other health systems nationwide have shifted their view on revenue cycle management from a financial burden to an asset in value-based, consumer-centric care.

Patient safety and quality returned to second place on the list of CEO concerns, followed by government mandates. Not surprisingly, the top issue within the government mandates category was ICD-10 implementation, which became mandatory last October.