Everybody’s leaving!

https://www.inc.com/bill-murphy-jr/nick-saban-alabama-assistant-coaches-michael-locksley%E2%80%8B-maryland-football.html?utm_source=incthismorning

Next time you recruit someone amazing to your business, only to have that person leave for a bigger opportunity elsewhere, think about Nick Saban.

Saban, the head football coach at the University of Alabama, is considered one of the greatest college coaches of all time. His teams have won six national championships — five at Alabama and one at Louisiana State University — tied with another Alabama coaching legend, Bear Bryant, for most in college football history.

Now, he’s getting credit for a statistic that might seem a mixed blessing, but one that great leaders will recognize as a compliment: Saban’s teams endure (or maybe “enjoy”) near-constant churn among his assistant coaches. As the Wall Street Journal pointed out on Sunday, not a single on-field assistant coach from Alabama’s national championship victory in 2017 remains on the team today.

Thirty-eight assistants have moved on since 2007. Most of them leave for jobs with higher profiles or more responsibility elsewhere. Last year, USA Today calculated that there were 15 former Saban assistants in head coaching jobs in either the NFL or college football. Add another to that list: Michael Locksley left Alabama earlier this year to become the head coach at the University of Maryland.

As a head coach, and a coaching recruiter, Saban says he’s only interested in assistants that he believes will be very successful — making it unsurprising to him that they’re later recruited away from him.

“I think if you look at most of the coming and going, it’s people getting better jobs,” he told the Journal. “I actually look for people who have goals and aspirations, who are hard workers and very committed to what they do. So people sometimes favor hiring guys that have been in this program.”

The constant churn arguably drives innovation, too. New assistant coaches have the chance to advocate for new strategies. That makes it harder for opposing teams to predict what Alabama will do on the field. 

There’s a saying: Good leaders attract followers; great leaders create more leaders.

If that’s true, then count Saban as a leader with an example worth learning from, no matter what your business or calling may be. Feel better about losing your top people when it happens. It’s inevitable if you’re a great leader.

 

 

 

Healthcare workforce development: New strategies for new demands

https://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/healthcare-workforce-development-new-strategies-new-demands

As hospitals and ambulatory sites grapple with the challenges of quality improvement, value-based care, cybersecurity and more, the size and shape of the workforce is changing as technology and imperatives evolve.

The healthcare workforce is evolving, often by necessity, thanks to the same gravitational forces that are affecting the rest of the industry and the economy at large: technological advances, competitive market forces, shifting imperatives that demand new skill sets, challenges with job satisfaction and burnout.

Whether they’re C-suite leaders, physicians, nurses, IT staff, data scientists, case managers, security pros or revenue cycle, billing and accounting experts, hospitals and health systems large and small are facing an array of challenges when it comes to finding the right people to fit the right roles.

There’s a lot that needs doing in healthcare these days, after all – managing the clinical and operational demands of value-based reimbursement, caring for a growing aging population with a shrinking number of doctors and nurses, fighting the good fight against relentless cybersecurity threats – and finding the right employees to do it all is more important than ever.

During July, Healthcare IT News and our sister publication, Healthcare Finance, will explore how hospitals and health systems are managing these challenges – optimizing their workforces and positioning skilled leaders to help drive long-term strategic success in those areas and others.

From the C-suite to the trenches, unique challenges persist

The recent 2019 HIMSS U.S. Leadership and Workforce Survey polled 232 health information and technology leaders from acute and ambulatory providers nationwide to gain some insights about the challenges they’re prioritizing and the organizational structures they’re putting in place to deal with them.

Surprisingly or not, “hospitals and non-acute providers appear to have very different strategies regarding information and technology leadership and workers,” according to the report.

For instance, inpatient sites are much more able to prioritize the hiring of skilled C-suite execs to guide strategic initiatives. But “the absence of information and technology leaders in non-acute organizations is unsettling as it becomes more challenging to advance capabilities in settings without strong executive champions.”

Likewise, hospitals and practices also differ substantially when it comes to more rank-and-file employees. The larger inpatient sites “tend to operate environments with fairly extensive opportunities, whereas non-acute providers tend to deal with static workforce demands,” according to HIMSS. “The culture that can result from these different settings is something healthcare leaders should take into consideration when developing a staffing strategy.”

And health system hiring strategies are indeed shifting as providers face an array of challenges that need skilled and forward-thinking workers to help solve them. The HIMSS report listed the top 10 of these as:

  • Cybersecurity, Privacy, and Security
  • Improving Quality Outcomes Through Health Information and Tech
  • Clinical Informatics and Clinician Engagement
  • Culture of Care and Care Coordination
  • Process Improvement, Workflow, Change Management
  • User Experience, Usability and User-Centered Design
  • Data Science/Analytics/Clinical and Business Intelligence
  • Leadership, Governance, Strategic Planning
  • Safe Info and Tech Practices for Patient Care
  • HIE, Interoperability, Data Integration and Standards

The big hurdle, however, is that many “hospitals are continuing to be negatively impacted by staffing challenges,” according to the study. “The negative impacts on providers resulting from paused/scaled back projects are significant enough to at least warrant an exploratory consideration,” said HIMSS researchers.

A look at the numbers tells one story: When it comes to workforce vacancy barely one-third 36% of providers polled by HIMSS say they’re fully staffed – while more than half (52%) said they have open positions (12% didn’t answer or weren’t sure).

Indeed, there’s plenty of hiring to be done for health systems trying to tackle some of the biggest ongoing strategic challenges.

Even though the size in provider workforces since 2018 increased for 38% of the providers in this year’s survey – it stayed the same for 37% and decreased for just 14% – the projection for 2020 is a further expected hiring boost at 34% of providers (compared with a status quo for 42% and a contraction at just 9%).

Still, there’s nuance when one considers the differences between inpatient versus ambulatory organizations. While both are more likely to increase their workforces than to decrease them in 2020 (37% and 12% percent of hospitals, respectively, and 26% and 1% of outpatient sites), far more non-acute organizations expect their staff sizes to stand pat than hospitals (51 percent, compared with 38%).

“The variances in staffing growth trajectories evidenced in the two provider groups … has the potential to produce exceedingly different workplace cultures; a fast-paced environment in hospitals and a fairly stable setting in non-acute organizations,” according to the HIMSS report. “If true, then it is very possible these settings attract health IT workers with remarkably different needs/wants. Provider organizations looking to stabilize their workforce should take these factors into consideration when developing staff recruitment, retention and development strategies.”

What to expect in our Focus on Workforce Development

Over the course of this month, Healthcare IT News and Healthcare Finance will be exploring the many challenges related to staffing and workforce, across many facets of healthcare in the U.S.

We’ll examine the industry’s labor force spend (the percentage of total budgets may surprise you), and look at how how AI, telehealth and consumerism can help change that equation. We’ll learn how to attract top C-suite talent and combat clinician burnout. We’ll explore the benefits of apprenticeship programs, and see the strategies some hospitals are using to deal with labor shortages. And much more.

So, as your healthcare organization looks to the fiscal year or remaining calendar year ahead, be sure to check back at HITN and HF during July to learn from thought leaders and industry peers – about the best way to put the best people in the best position to help meet your strategic goals.

 

One of the constants of healthcare: Rising executive pay

https://www.modernhealthcare.com/executive-compensation/one-constants-healthcare-rising-executive-pay?utm_source=modern-healthcare-daily-dose-wednesday&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20190807&utm_content=article4-readmore

Average total cash compensation for health system executives rose 6.5% from 2018 to 2019, extending a consistent rise in executive pay that governance experts do not expect to slow.

Annual and long-term performance-based incentives have driven pay hikes of 4% to 7% each of the last four years, according to Modern Healthcare’s annual Executive Compensation Survey. Health systems’ ongoing expansions coupled with a highly competitive executive market will continue to drive up their base salaries and bonuses, experts said. But this dynamic is drawing ire from rank-and-file employees who aren’t happy with their pay and from consumers who are spending more on their care. It is also spurring new legislation.

Nevertheless, with baby boomers retiring in large numbers and demand soaring, the pay hikes aren’t going away anytime soon. “Healthcare organizations are becoming more complex and leadership skills are evolving,” which often translates to higher pay, said Bruce Greenblatt, a managing principal at SullivanCotter, the compensation consulting firm that has supplied data for Modern Healthcare’s annual surveys since 2003.

“Qualified talent is in short supply, which requires a deliberate approach to talent strategy as new roles emerge and new responsibilities unfold,” he said.

Providers look to select metrics and targets that will shape their organization for years to come. In doing so, they toe a delicate line ensuring their bonuses are attainable to keep executives engaged while not making them out of reach and damaging morale.

With more pay based on performance, there’s greater risk of poor program design, said Steve Sullivan, a managing director at executive compensation consulting firm Pearl Meyer. If you make a mistake, there is a lot of money on the line, he said.

“You don’t want to have giveaways and you don’t want to have plans so egregiously hard that they never have payouts because executives will disengage from the program,” Sullivan said. “You have to strike a balance between responsible compensation and something that is motivating and incenting.”

Larger systems paying more

Health system executives’ average base salaries increased 4.2% and ticked up even higher among organizations with more than $3 billion in revenue based in high-cost cities, according to Modern Healthcare’s 39th Executive Compensation Survey, made up of data aggregated from 1,149 hospitals and 401 health systems. System CEOs earned an average total cash compensation of $1.4 million in 2019, a 6.3% increase.

Executives who saw the highest total cash compensation hikes of 6.6% up to 13.3% were business development officers, administrative officers, internal audit executives, chief financial officers, planning executives, reimbursement executives, chief nursing officers, chief human resources officers and chief operating officers.

Incentives are typically tiered with a minimum threshold, a target and a stretch goal. They are often based on quality, safety and patient experience as well as financial performance. They may be related to ambulatory market share, employee and patient engagement, facilitating access to capital, bolstering physician alignment, inking successful joint partnerships and mergers, emergency department wait times and utilization, population health, shared risk, readmissions, hospital-acquired infections and length of stay, among other metrics.

The types of incentives offered are heavily dependent on the provider and the market. Some hospitals and health systems have stuck to the more traditional financial and market-share-based measurements, while more progressive organizations are targeting outcomes.

The bonuses differ based on short- and long-term goals, the latter becoming more prominent in recent years as boards and compensation committees emphasize the entire organization’s performance. Sometimes there is a trigger, such as operating margin, where executives miss out on all bonuses if it isn’t reached. For instance, Mercy Health, which is now Bon Secours Mercy Health, did not pay executives an incentive in 2016 since the system did not reach its incentive thresholds, the Cincinnati-based Catholic health system said.

“You want to make sure everyone is rolling in the right direction,” said Tom Giella, chairman of healthcare services for executive recruiter Korn Ferry. “You want to do what is right for the system, not an individual hospital or inpatient versus outpatient. It creates an incentive for everyone to work together.”

But even if the baseline isn’t reached, there typically isn’t a penalty, experts said. It will only lower their earning potential. “In some industries there can be a negative adjustment,” Sullivan said. “I haven’t seen that in healthcare. In healthcare, if there is a modifier it is going to be positive.”

Long-term view

Nearly half of larger health systems surveyed report using long-term incentive plans.

Dignity Health said a “substantial portion” of executive compensation is linked to organizational performance related to key clinical-quality and patient-satisfaction measures as well as community health investments and financial performance. Similarly, Kaiser Permanente said a third to half of pay is based on performance, linked to membership growth, expenses, operating income, and clinical and service quality improvements. Bon Secours Mercy said each of its employees are rewarded under the same incentive program, which includes quality, growth, financial and community benefit targets.

More providers are using deferred compensation programs, which can amount to hefty payouts at the end of an executive’s tenure.

In a related Modern Healthcare analysis of more than 2,000 not-for-profit hospitals, the 25 highest-paid not-for-profit health system executives received a combined 33.2% increase in total compensation in 2017, as their compensation rose to $197.9 million from $148.6 million in 2016.

The pay increases have spawned rallies and protests from more than 1,000 employees at Beaumont Health and Providence St. Joseph Health, both of which had chief executives in the top 25. Beaumont and Providence said in prepared statements that their CEO pay are not outliers compared to their peers.

California policymakers introduced a bill, recently passed by a state Senate subcommittee, that aims to boost not-for-profit health systems’ public disclosure requirements for executives’ deferred compensation.

“What surprises people I think as compensation becomes very generous because it is a competitive market, some think a hospital administrator shouldn’t expect to make more than the average physician,” said Paul Keckley, an industry consultant and managing editor of the Keckley Report. “Those days are long gone.”

Executives’ pay along with their respective C-suites are growing as health systems expand. New C-suite positions in 2019 included reimbursement executive, communications executive, academic affairs executive and operations executive, according to SullivanCotter’s data.

Physician leaders continue to be in high demand as providers look to influence clinical delivery redesign, population heath activities and quality improvement, said Tom Pavlik, a managing principal at SullivanCotter. Administrative roles in finance, consumer experience, IT, marketing and human resources are being filled by healthcare industry outsiders, he said.

“There is a lot of change as organizations are realigning to be operationally efficient and integrate clinical care delivery,” Pavlik said.

Among hospital executives, average base salaries rose 3.7% for hospitals that exceeded $300 million in revenue compared to 3.2% for smaller facilities. System-owned hospitals saw slightly lower base salary hikes than independent ones.

Average total compensation increased 5.3%, while CEOs of independent hospitals took home the highest raises at 9.2%, followed by chief financial officers of independent hospitals (6.5%), chief operating officers of system-owned hospitals (5.8%) and chief financial officers of system-owned hospitals (5.3%). Independent hospital CEOs earned an average of $758,300.

Providers rely on third-party consultants for accurate portrayals of market-based compensation reports that inform their compensation structures. But some of Pearl Meyer’s prospective clients are concerned about how their current adviser is interpreting the market, Sullivan said.

“With all the M&A, you have to create larger peer groups to generate a bigger sample,” he said.

This is a relatively new dynamic as the number of megasystems have swelled, Giella said.

“There is a war for talent and a big demand as systems have amalgamated so quickly,” he said. “They are getting through these growing pains where they have never dealt with this scale before, so it’s hard to look at historical trends. It’s very fluid so it’s hard to tell if you are paying someone fair compensation.”

One of Keckley’s regional health system clients told him that they are trying to figure out the most efficient and lean model.

“When I asked him what is keeping him awake, he said, ‘I want to be sure we are market-focused and that we are not just busy moving the deck chairs around.’ ”

DATA: Executive Compensation: 2019

 

 

 

The evolution of the CFO

https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/strategy-and-corporate-finance/our-insights/the-evolution-of-the-cfo?cid=other-eml-alt-mip-mck&hlkid=566473ff51dc4a379e17847ee5acfc84&hctky=9502524&hdpid=7cd18d63-2307-4455-b5bd-e821124db867

Image result for The evolution of the CFO

CFOs are playing an increasingly pivotal role in driving change in their companies. How should they balance their traditional responsibilities with the new CFO mandate?
In this episode of the Inside the Strategy Roompodcast, McKinsey partner Ankur Agrawal and consultant Priyanka Prakash speak with communications director Sean Brown about how to manage the competing demands of the CFO role in the digital age.

Podcast transcript

Sean Brown: If you wanted evidence that the only constant in life is change, then look no further than the evolution of the CFO role. In addition to traditional CFO responsibilities, results from a recent McKinsey survey suggest that the number of functions reporting to CFOs is on the rise. Also increasing is the share of CFOs saying they oversee their companies’ digital activities and resolve issues outside the finance function. How can CFOs harness their increasing responsibilities and traditional finance expertise to drive the C-suite agenda and lead substantive change for their companies?

Joining us today to answer that question are Ankur Agrawal and Priyanka Prakash. Ankur is a partner in our New York office and one of the leaders of the Healthcare Systems & Services Practice. Priyanka is a consultant also based in New York. She is a chartered accountant by training and drives our research on the evolving role of finance and the CFO. Ankur, Priyanka, thank you so much for joining us today.

Let’s start with you, Ankur. Tell us about your article, which is based on a recent survey. What did you learn?

Ankur Agrawal: We look at the CFO role every two years as part of our ongoing research because the CFO is such a pivotal role in driving change at companies. We surveyed 400 respondents in April 2018, and we subsequently selected a few respondents for interviews to get some qualitative input as well. Within the 400 respondents, 212 of those were CFOs, and then the remainder were C-level executives and finance executives who were not CFOs. We had a healthy mix of CFOs and finance executives versus nonfinance executives. The reason was we wanted to compare and contrast what CFOs are saying versus what the business leaders are saying to get a full 360-degree view of CFOs.

The insights out of this survey were many. First and foremost, the pace of change in the CFO role itself is shockingly fast. If we compare the results from two years ago, the gamut of roles that reported into the CFO role has dramatically increased. On average, approximately six discrete roles are reporting to the CFO today. Those roles range from procurement to investor relations, which, in some companies, tend to be very finance specific. Two years ago, that average was around four. You can see the pace of change.

The second interesting insight out of this survey when compared to the last survey is the cross-functional nature of the role, which is driving transformations and playing a more proactive role in influencing change in the company. The soft side of the CFO leadership comes out really strongly, and CFOs are becoming more like generalist C-suite leaders. They should be. They, obviously, are playing that role, but it is becoming very clear that that’s what the business leaders expect them to do.

And then two more insights that are not counterintuitive, per se, but the pace of change is remarkable. One is this need to lead on driving long-term performance versus short-term performance. The last couple of years have been very active times for activist investors. There are lots of very public activist campaigns. We clearly see in the data that CFOs are expected to drive long-term performance and be the stewards of the resources of the company. That data is very clear.

And then, lastly, the pace of change of technology and how it’s influencing the CFO role: more than half of the CFO functions or finance functions are at the forefront of digitization, whether it is automation, analytics, robotic processes, or data visualization. More than half have touched these technologies, which is remarkable. And then many more are considering the technological evolution of the function.

Sean Brown: In your survey, did you touch on planning for the long term versus the short term?

Ankur Agrawal: Our survey suggests, and lot of the business leaders suggest, that there is an imperative for the CFO to be the steward of the long term. And there is this crying need for the finance function to lead the charge to take the long-term view in the enterprise. What does that mean? I think it’s hard to do—very, very hard to do—because the board, the investors, everybody’s looking for the short-term performance. But it puts even more responsibility on the finance function in defining and telling the story of how value is being created in the enterprise over the long term. And those CFOs and finance executives who are able to tell that story and have proof points along the way, I think those are the more successful finance functions. And that was clearly what our survey highlighted.

What it also means is the finance functions have to focus and put in place KPIs [key performance indicators] and metrics that talk about the long-term value creation. And it is a theme that has been picked up, in the recent past, by the activists who have really taken some companies to task on not only falling short on short-term expectations but also not having a clear view and road map for long-term value creation. It is one of the imperatives for the CFO of the future: to be the value architect for the long term. It’s one of the very important aspects of how CFOs will be measured in the future.

Sean Brown: I noticed in your survey that you did ask CFOs and their nonfinance peers where they thought CFOs created the most value. What did you learn from that?

Priyanka Prakash: This has an interesting link with the entire topic of transformation. We saw that four in ten CFOs say that they created the most value through strategic leadership, as well as leading the charge on talent, including setting incentives that are linked with the company’s strategy. However, we see that nonfinance respondents still believe that CFOs created the most value by spending time on traditional finance activities. This offers an interesting sort of split. One of the things that this indicates is there’s a huge opportunity for CFOs to lead the charge on transformation to ensure that they’re not just leading traditional finance activities but also being change agents and leading transformations across the organization.

Ankur Agrawal: The CFOs of the future have to flex different muscles. They have been very good in really driving performance. Maybe there’s an opportunity to even step up the way that performance is measured in the context of transformation, which tends to be very messy. But, clearly, CFOs are expected to be the change agents, which means that they have to be motivational. They have to be inspirational. They have to lead by example. They have to be cross-functional. They have to drive the talent agenda. It’s a very different muscle, and the CFOs have had less of an opportunity to really leverage that muscle in the past. I think that charismatic leadership from the CFO will be the requirement of the future.

Sean Brown: You also address the CFO’s role regarding talent. Tell us a bit more about that.

Ankur Agrawal: Another really important message out of the survey is seeing the finance function and the CFO as a talent factory. And what that means is really working hand in hand with the CEO and CHRO [chief HR officer] over this trifecta of roles. Because the CFO knows where to invest the money and where the resources need to be allocated to really drive disproportionate value, hopefully for the long run. The CHRO is the arbiter of talent and the whole performance ethic regarding talent in the company. And the CEO is the navigator and the visionary for the company. The three of them coming together can be a very powerful way to drive talent—both within the function and outside the function.

And the finance-function leaders expect CFOs to play a really important role in talent management in the future and in creating the workforce of the future. And this workforce—in the finance function, mind you—will be very different. There’s already lots of talk about a need for data analytics, which is infused in the finance function and even broader outside the organization of finance function. The CFOs need to foster that talent and leverage the trifecta to attract, retain, and drive talent going forward.

Sean Brown: Do you have any examples of successful talent-development initiatives for the finance function? And can you share any other examples of where CFOs, in particular, have taken a more active role in talent and talent development?

Ankur Agrawal: An excellent question. On talent development within the finance function, a few types of actions—and these are not new actions—done very purposefully can have significant outsize outcome. One is job rotations: How do you make sure that 20 to 30 percent of your finance function is moving out of the traditional finance role, going out in the business, learning new skills? And that becomes a way where you cultivate and nurture new skills within the finance function. You do it very purposefully, without the fear that you will lose that person. If you lose that person, that’s fine as well. That is one tried-and-tested approach. And some companies have made that a part of the talent-management system.

The second is special projects. And again, it sounds simple, but it’s hard to execute. This is making this a part of every finance-function executive’s role, whether it’s a pricing project or a large capex [capital-expenditure] and IT project implementation. Things like that. Getting the finance function outside of their comfort zone: I think that’s certainly a must-have.

And the third would be there is value in exposing finance-function executives to new skills and creating a curriculum, which is very deliberate. I think technology’s changing so rapidly. So exposing the finance function to newer technologies, newer ways of working, and collaboration tools: those are the things I would highlight as ways to nurture finance talent.

Priyanka Prakash: Just to add onto that. A lot of the folks whom I talked to say that, very often, finance folks spend a large chunk of their time trying to work on ad hoc requests that they get from the other parts of the business. A big opportunity here is in how the finance function ensures that the rest of the nonfinance part has some basic understanding of finance to make them more self-sufficient, to ensure that they are not coming to the finance function with every single question. What this does is it ensures that the rest of the organization has the finance skills to ensure that they’re making the right decisions, using financial tools.

And secondly, it also significantly frees up the way that the finance organization itself spends its time. If they spend a few hours less working on these ad hoc requests, they can invest their time in thinking about strategy, in thinking about how the finance function can improve the decision making. I think that’s a huge sort of benefit that organizations have seen just by upscaling their nonfinance workforce to equip them with the financial skills to ensure that the finance team is spending time on its most high-value activity.

Sean Brown: Is this emphasis on talent focused only on the finance function? What I am hearing from your response is that it’s not just building up the talent within the finance function but embedding finance talent and capabilities throughout the organization. Is that right?

Priyanka Prakash: Absolutely. Because if you take an example of someone who’s in a factory who wants to have an investment request for something that they want to do at a plant, they will have to know the basic knowledge of finance to evaluate whether this is an investment that they need or not. Because at the end of the day, any decision would be incomplete without a financial guideline on how to do it. I think that the merging of your other functions with a strong background and rooting in finance can improve the quality of decisions that not just the finance function but other teams and other functions also make in the organization.

Sean Brown: Priyanka, your survey touches a bit on the topic of digital. What did you learn there?

Priyanka Prakash: Sure. This is one of those things that everybody wants to do, but the question that I’ve seen most of my clients struggle with in the initial phases is, “Yes, I have the intent from the top. There is intent from the finance and other teams on how to become more digital, but how do you actually start that process?”

There are four distinct kinds of technologies or tools that finance teams, specifically, could use in enabling their digital journey and transformation. CFOs have way too much on their plates right now. What this essentially means is that they need to invest time and a lot of their thinking into some of these newer, more strategic areas while ensuring that they keep the lights on in the traditional finance activities. The biggest tool that will enable them to keep the lights on as well as add value in this new expanded role is to take advantage of automation, as well as some of the newer digital technologies that we see.

There are basically four types of digital stages that we see as finance functions start to evolve. One is using automation, which is typically the first step. For example, “How do I move from an Excel-based system to an Alteryx one? How do I move from a manual transactional system to something that’s more automated, where my finance teams don’t have to invest time, but it happens in the background with accuracy?” That’s step one.

The second thing that we see as a result of this is you have a lot of data-visualization tools that are being used. This is very helpful, especially when you think about the role of FP&A [financial planning and analysis]. “How does my FP&A team ensure that the company makes better decisions? How do I use a visualization software to get different views of my data to ensure that I’m making the right decisions?”

The third one is, “How do I use analytics within finance? How do I use analytics to draw insights from the data that I might have missed otherwise?” This could be something in forecasting. This could be something in planning. But this could also be something that’s used when you compare your budget or your forecast. Your analytics could really help draw out drivers of why there’s a variance.

And fourthly is, “How do I then integrate this advanced-analytics philosophy across the rest of the company?” What this means is, “How do I integrate my finance and traditional ERP [enterprise-resource-planning] systems with the pricing system, with the operations, and supply-chain-management system? How do I integrate my finance systems with my CRM [customer relationship management]?” Again, the focus is on ensuring that the whole database is not this large, clunky system but an agile system that ensures you draw out some insights.

Sean Brown: Some have suggested the CFO is ideally suited to be the chief digital officer. Have you seen any good examples of this?

Ankur Agrawal: There were examples even before the digital technologies took over. In some companies, the technology functions used to report to CFOs. There are cases where CFOs have formally or even informally taken over the mandate of a chief digital officer. You don’t necessarily need to have a formal reporting role to be a digital leader in the company. CFOs, of course, have an important role in vetting expenses and vetting the investments the companies are making. That said, CFOs have this cross-functional visibility of the entire business, which makes them very well suited to being the digital officers. In some cases, CFOs have stepped up and played that more formal role. I would expect, in the future, they will certainly have an informal role. In select cases, they will continue to have a formal digital-officer role.

Sean Brown: It sounds like, from the results of the survey, the CFO has a much larger role to play. Where does someone begin on this journey?

Priyanka Prakash: Going back to the first point that we discussed on how CFOs should help their companies have a more long-term view, we see that this transformation is specifically here to move to more digital technologies. It’s not going to be easy, and it’s not going to be short. Yes, you will see quick wins. But it is going to be a slightly lengthy—and oftentimes, a little bit of a messy—process, especially in the initial stages. How do we ensure that there is enough leadership energy around this? Because once you have that leadership energy, and once you take the long-term view to a digital transformation, the results that you see will pay for themselves handsomely.

Again, linking this back with the long-term view, this is not going to be a short three-month or six-month process. It’s going to be an ongoing evolution. And the nature of the digital technologies also evolve as the business evolves. But how do you ensure that your finance and FP&A teams have the information and the analytics that they need to evolve and be agile along with the business and to ensure that the business responds to changes ahead of the market? How do we ensure that digital ensures that your company is proactively, and not reactively, reacting to changes in the external market and changes in disruption?

Sean Brown: Priyanka, any final thoughts you’d like to share?

Priyanka Prakash: All that I’ll say is that this is a very, very exciting time for the role of the CFO. A lot of things are changing. But you can’t evolve unless you have your fundamentals right. This is a very exciting time, where CFOs can have the freedom to envision, create, and chart their own legacy and then move to a leadership and influencer role and truly be a change agent in addition to doing their traditional finance functions, such as resource allocation, your planning, and all of the other functions as well. But I definitely do think that these are very exciting times for finance organizations. There are lots of changes, and the evolutionary curve is moving upward very quickly.

Sean Brown: Ankur, Priyanka, thanks for joining us today.

 

 

 

 

Healthcare Industry Consolidation Raises New Workforce Challenges

https://www.amnhealthcare.com/healthcare-industry-consolidation-raises-new-workforce-challenges/?utm_source=email&utm_medium=pardot&utm_campaign=story-3

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When health systems consolidate, one of the major challenges they face is integrating, managing, and optimizing their much larger workforce. The newly integrated workforce must deliver on the value promised by the consolidated enterprise, which is why healthcare industry consolidations need the most advanced workforce solutions available.

The mission of every sector in the consolidation — whether it’s in enhancing the patient experience, improving care quality, realizing economies of scale, expediting the shift from volume- to value-based care, implementing new population health strategies, improving revenue cycle management, or launching new technology — is dependent on the effectiveness of its workforce.

Most healthcare organizations already face workforce problems in the form of shortages of nurses, physicians, technicians and technologists, coders, leaders, and others. Consolidation doesn’t relieve shortage problems, because most organizations’ workforces are already stretched very thin. The paramount challenge may be that the new organization must integrate workforces that have entrenched and often widely different quality standards, procedures, training, values, and cultures. Consistency across the newly consolidated organization must be attained through standardization and adoption of best practices.

Consolidation is producing sophisticated regional enterprises of vertical services and facilities stretching across multiple states, including some emerging as Fortune 500 companies. Solutions to workforce challenges need to become more sophisticated to match this growing organizational complexity. A continuum of effective workforce innovations, many of which have been in use in other industries, are now available in the healthcare industry, though they have been largely untapped until recently.

The talent imperative in healthcare can be effectively addressed through these innovations. Comprehensive managed services programs that optimize the contingent workforce are becoming mainstream. Radical new credentialing innovations can be leveraged to improve time-to-revenue and productivity for physicians and other clinicians. Predictive labor analytics can accurately forecast patient volume months in advance and then match scheduling and staffing practices to the forecasts. Workforce solutions also are available to help find the best talent for leadership roles, which are critically important to guide an industry undergoing fundamental change to revenue based on value instead of volume. The vital realm of health information management is another area where workforce solutions can raise performance in quality, efficiency, and revenue generation.

However, when it comes to workforce solutions, many healthcare organizations remain in a reactive mode, with managers scrambling to fill holes in staffing needs on a daily basis. And many still rely on inadequate paper-based and other outdated systems to manage workforce challenges. Such practices do not fulfill the needs of the sophisticated healthcare organizations emerging from the wave of consolidations. Modern healthcare workforce solutions are needed, but many healthcare organizations don’t have the resources, capacity, or bandwidth to develop and operate these solutions on their own. Or, they are unaware that advanced, technology-enabled workforce solutions are available.

The bright spot is that new entities emerging from consolidations can often leverage combined resources to invest in advanced workforce solutions that will ensure that their enterprise-wide workforce is optimized and performing at its highest level.

Expert workforce partners who are entirely focused on solving healthcare workforce problems hold the key. Such partners are found outside the walls of hospitals and healthcare systems, and the best ones can quickly integrate with patient-care organizations to customize solutions. Since the healthcare workforce is the greatest differentiator in the success of a healthcare enterprise, the services of an expert workforce solutions partner are critical during and after consolidation.