Managing Finances in a Transforming Market

What are the best strategies for healthcare financial management in an industry that’s been transformed by the COVID-19 pandemic? On this episode of Owning the Future of Healthcare, host Daniel Litwin welcomed Dan Unger, Senior Vice President and General Manager for the Financial Transformation Business of Health Catalyst, for an insightful discussion about implementing and sustaining value-based care systems.

According to Unger, healthcare financial management deals with the business side of healthcare in two major domains; accounting for measuring and documenting and financial planning and budgeting. “Budgeting is the group that supplies tools and analysis that help clinical and operational leaders make better financial decisions,” Unger said.

The high-level activities of healthcare financial planning involve forecasting and planning, financing options, deciding whether to lease or buy, what type of debt to raise, cost accounting, contract management and revenue cycles.

During the pandemic, healthcare saw lower volumes than usual, and managing costs has taken center stage over the last year.

Effective financial management is essential to running a sustainable healthcare operation, and Unger has meaningful insights into the pitfalls and best practices of those activities. Whether it’s using analytics to assess the revenue cycle or finding operational improvement for efficiency and cost containment, Unger knows the business inside and out and recommends several strategies for effective financial management in the post-COVID world.

Innovations in remote care and telemedicine have brought new competitors to the market that challenge some of the traditional practices in the healthcare industry. What can healthcare operations do to remain competitive in a changing world while managing margins and lower volumes?

It begins with flexibility, according to Unger, and the need for strategic investments.

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