October 27, 2021
For American healthcare, the last 18 months or so has been unprecedented, or at least it feels that way since no one in healthcare now was around for the 1918 Spanish flu outbreak.
While healthcare historians are probably hard at work drawing comparisons between these two major pandemics, the truth is that they arrived at very different times in the nation’s history. The Spanish flu outbreak preceded Medicare and Medicaid, widespread use of health insurance, sophisticated public health systems, a fuller understanding of viruses, and dramatic rises in the cost of care.
It was also well before the digital revolution and the wild card that is the internet.
So, it’s clear that as the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) holds its annual meeting and recognizes 75 years of existence, there is plenty to talk about and many challenges to address, most of which were highlighted in the last couple of years.
Despite the organization’s name, HFMA’s agenda and roundtable discussion topics for the Minneapolis gathering clearly demonstrate a focus on the state of healthcare more generally with funding as a key component. After all, healthcare in the United States is a business, which requires that healthy attention be paid to the bottom line.
“As someone who’s career has been mostly occupied with financial concerns, I appreciate the perspective HFMA brings to any conversation about how healthcare can be improved to the benefit of all involved,” said Medsphere CEO Irv Lichtenwald. “The real crux of the issue is that how the United States pays for healthcare neither defines what the industry’s obligations are to clients, patients in this case, nor does it limit the ways in which creative solutions can help solve our most vexing concerns.”
Of course, one perspective on the American healthcare financial reality is that varied sources of funding and different payment models create opportunities for CFOs and similar positions to drive meaningful change, which HFMA works to promote. Indeed, the annual meeting agenda includes presentations on optimizing the patient financial experience, building a substance abuse practice with telehealth, breaking the glass ceiling, and many more subjects ranging all over the healthcare landscape.
But it would be an oversite to not focus on the ways in which COVID has made providing healthcare more difficult, paying for it more nuanced, and gathering in person to discuss it more complex.
Recognizing what has transpired in the American healthcare system of late, HFMA will require that all in-person attendees at this year’s conference be vaccinated against COVID-19. (Virtual attendance will also be facilitated.) The organization will also give its highest honor, the Richard L. Clarke Board of Directors Award, to the nation’s frontline healthcare workers.
Medsphere is excited to play a small part in HFMA’s conference and 75th anniversary celebration. Medsphere’s product and service platform gives healthcare administrators a host of options in pursuit of goals like realizing value-based care, achieving cost reductions, improving the patient experience, and overcoming post-pandemic challenges, all of which will be roundtable discussion subjects at the gathering.
Medsphere is also uniquely aligned with HFMA’s conference theme—Rebuild, Reconnect, Reignite—in that the company makes affordability a high priority after a year in which most healthcare providers lost money due to the pandemic. Healthcare organizations can pursue key objectives using Medsphere products and services without having to make painful financial choices that undermine quality care.
Attending HFMA? Medsphere would like to schedule a bit of time to explain how we can improve the care you provide and your bottom line. To set up a meeting with Medsphere a representative, please contact Rich Lewis at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 314.616.2459.