A healthy dose of gallows humor kicked off the Healthcare Financial Management Associations Annual National Institute today in Seattle with several speakers rattling off the serious financial challenges facing the healthcare industry but calling on healthcare executives to face them with determination and a smile.
Healthcare executives urged to rise to the occasion
Outgoing HFMA Chairman Robert Broadway, vice president of corporate strategy for Bethesda Healthcare System, Boynton Beach, Fla., opened this mornings keynote session with a list of realities that the associations members are facing. Patient volume is down. Bad debt is up. Margins are declining. And capital is hard to find, Broadway said. Hospitals more than ever before will be held accountable for demonstrating that they provide affordable, high-quality care to patients, he said. Broadway then turned the stage over to incoming HFMA Chairman Catherine Jacobson, senior vice president of strategic planning and finance, chief financial officer and treasurer at Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, who continued the theme of rising to the occasion.
Jacobson followed with her list of woes facing the healthcare industry and drew the first laughs of the morning session by quipping, I cant remember a single day in which I was bored. She also urged the attendees to not take matters lying down. Get your head up off the desk and face the next challenge, Jacobson said. Lets all go out and make it count.
The opening session ended with a rousing hourlong presentation by motivational speaker Patrick Lencioni, founder and president of the Table Group and author of The Five Dysfunctions of a Team. Lencionis comments resonated with the receptive crowd, although most of his comments didnt address the healthcare industry specifically. He did offer some advice to the attendees: We have to do everything we can to protect our healthcare system. Doing more with less will go a long way toward that.
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