Leading the Change

JWilliams2Welcome to the 2014-15 HFMA chapter year.  Another year has come and gone and we continue to face the uncertainties of healthcare reform, declining reimbursements and the need to provide higher quality care while delivering an exceptional patient experience.  The strategies and tactics that got us here today will not get us where we need to be tomorrow.  As healthcare professionals and leaders we are all afforded the unique opportunity of shaping the future of our industry.

Over the past few months, members of our chapter leadership team had the opportunity to hear the National HFMA Chair, Kari Cornicelli, speak about her theme for the 2014-15 chapter year, “Leading the Change”.  During her address, Cornicelli reminded everyone that as finance leaders we have the unique skill set to lead our industry into the future.  She went on to state that Finance Leaders’ understanding of money flow, structure, processes, payment methodologies, and resource utilization will support their organizations’ ability to lower costs, improve care coordination, reward value, and make the healthcare experience better for patients.

It is truly an honor to serve as President of this great chapter.  The board of directors, committee chairs and volunteers have been hard at work to ensure that we continue to provide high quality education and networking opportunities to our members.  We are always looking for new ideas and committee volunteers.  To submit ideas or volunteer for a committee, please feel free to contact any of our chapter leaders.  Contact information is available on the chapter leaders page of the website (http://neohfma.org/chapter-leaders/).  As we embark on a new chapter year, I would encourage each of you to grasp the opportunity in front of us and “Lead the Change”.


Justin Williams


Northeast Ohio Chapter of HFMA

HFMA Region 6

Whitbread_Mary_Regional Executive_Region 06 (424x640)Hello fellow HFMA members from Michigan and Ohio!  My name is Mary Whitbread and I have the distinct pleasure of filling the role of the Regional Executive for our chapter during the 2014 – 2015 year.  As a Regional Executive, I serve as the liaison to National HFMA for our seven HFMA chapters in Michigan and Ohio.

First, I would like to thank our outgoing Regional Executive, Chris Milligan from the Northeast Ohio chapter, for his work over the past several years.  Chris was instrumental in improving the collaboration amongst the chapters in the region.

I would also like to introduce our incoming Regional Executive Elect, Barb Shelley from the Western Michigan chapter.  Barb is currently leading the regional webinar program and she will be the Regional Executive during the 2015 – 2016 HFMA year.

Barb, Chris and I all had the pleasure of attending the recent chapter awards dinner at ANI and we are proud to say that the region was very successful this year with over 20 individual chapter awards and three multi-chapter awards, which included the Regional Yerger Award for our Regional Webinar Series.  This past year the region provided sixteen webinars at no cost to our members, providing more the 1800 hours of education.

Once again, ANI provided an excellent opportunity to learn from industry experts and it also provided the opportunity to network, meeting new people and connecting with friends.  The days flew too quickly, but the experience was very rich. I encourage everyone to consider attending ANI in the future.

The HFMA theme presented at ANI by chair Kari Cornicelli is “Leading the Change”.  She encourages healthcare finance professionals at all levels to take a lead role in making a difference, to keep their organizations strong by leading the strategic initiatives that will position their organization to deal with the rapid changes taking place in the healthcare industry today.

This theme correlates with a recent book I read by Roger Connors and Tom Smith called Change the Culture, Change the Game.  Culture is the way people think and act to achieve results.  Culture can make the difference between the success and failure of an organization.  The book instills the concepts that leaders must create the needed culture of an organization and that an effective culture is a culture of accountability.  We as finance leaders can demonstrate a culture of accountability by acknowledging and working with others in the organization to own an issue, find solutions to the issue and drive the strategic initiatives to deal with the changes occurring in healthcare today.

Knowledge is a key element to enable us as finance leaders to lead the needed change in healthcare today.  HFMA is committed to providing the needed resources to expand our knowledge through educational opportunities available through chapter, regional and national venues.  Take advantage of these opportunities as often as possible.

Enjoy your summer!

Mary Whitbread

Regional Executive

HFMA Region 6

New Members – Welcome to NEOHFMA!

Please welcome our newest members to the Northeast Ohio Chapter of HFMA. Look for them at our next meeting and welcome them to our organization.

Cynthia Lewis Toni Shamblin – Summa Health System
Jeffrey FreeseKey – Banc Capital Markets Inc. Susan Senich – XCD Management Services
Connor Girdley – KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc. Brian M Beirne – JP Recovery Services, Inc.
Jill Franks, CPA – Rehmann Michael E. Kittoe – Lake Health Resource Center
Michael White – American Medical Response Yelena Lapidus – Cleveland Clinic Foundation
Hollie Lamb – Human Arc Kerri Orlando – Human Arc
Zachary L Morris – Rea & Associates, Inc. Daisy Morris – Mercy Medical Center
Laura Bacill – Cleveland Clinic

Welcome Back!

HFMA Members that have reinstated their Membership during this past quarter.

Thomas S. Campanella, FAC – BaldwinWallaceCollege Richard L. Marrapese, CPA – Shamrock Companies
Richard M. Jorz – Cleveland Clinic Kerry Politsky – Cleveland Clinic
Melissa A Fielitz – Pomerene Hospital Michael P. Reese – University Hospitals
Rae Ann Trego – Western Reserve Health System Diana K. Warren – Cleveland Clinic Heart & Vascular
Jason A. Kopczak – Vbc, Inc. Wendy Snyder – UH Case Medical Center
Ann Marie Riley – AlterCare of OH Steven J. Ittel – Comprehensive Reimbursement Inc.
Patrick Mulloy – Human Arc

Certification: The Time is NOW!!!


By Kelly Linson, MBA, CPA, FHFMA

An exciting new certification exam preparation option is coming soon!!!  The Northeast Ohio chapter along with Regions 4, 5, and 6 will be participating in a Certification Webinar Series conducted by Christoph Stauder.  Christoph Stauder is a CPA and Fellow in HFMA.  He is the principal of Stauder Consulting LLC, a small Oregon firm that provides revenue cycle leadership and assistance to hospitals and physician groups nationally since 2001. Christoph has taught certification classes since he became an HFMA member in 1987. In 1995 he wrote the original PFS study guide and portions of the Core study guide for the previous certification program and held certificates in all four specialties (Finance, Managed Care, Physician Practices and Patient Financial Services). In 2011 he created a new professional practicum modeled on the National Association’s new certification program for Oregon HFMA. He has continually expanded the practicum and teaches it locally, regionally and nationally.

The Certification Webinar Series will be conducted on:

Tuesdays September 16, 23, 30 & October 7 with a review session on Nov 4.  

Times for each session will be 11:30am to1:30pm eastern.

Sessions will be recorded so that registered attendees can view items that they missed or would like to see again.  Registration will include a 300 page workbook that will be key to successfully passing the exam.

More details (regarding registration, cost, etc) are unfolding and you can stay informed by visiting the www.neohfma.org website or by contacting the certification co-chairs: 

Kelly Linson – (440) 816-8071

Brian Nestor – (216) 844-7797

This is a great opportunity to take advantage of a low cost, valuable, quality certification exam preparation initiative.   We would love to hear from you and help guide you to your certification achievement.  Call or email one of us!   The time is NOW!!!

Program Recaps

Healthcare Innovations Strategies

This exciting program was held Wednesday April 30, 2014 at Austen BioInnovation Institute (ABIA) in Akron.  Healthcare finance leaders and clinicians had the opportunity to gain insight from the ABIA Vice President, Dr. Michael Holder, regarding the groundbreaking simulation center and ABIA’s training resources. ABIA is a recognized innovation leader and its Innovative Solutions for Invention Xceleration (ISIX) method has been heralded as one of the nation’s best approaches to technology commercialization and entrepreneurship.

A networking event followed the valuable education session.









                                                                               Heart made on a 3D printer.

Dr. Michael Holder showing a spine with the newest technology.


Tracy Cahoon learning from Dr. Holder how a magnetic device can adjust the spinal rods, avoiding an invasive surgical procedure.





Gerry Haggerty Annual Leadership Institute

The 2014 GHALI was held at the Sawmill Creek & Conference Center in Huron, OH. The theme for this year’s event was “Executing the Healthcare Transformation”. The full 3-day conference offered 19 hours of Ohio CPE credit including several prominent speakers:

  • Labor Cost Management: Leveraging Productivity Effectively in the Healthcare Environment
    Elaine Eichman, MBA, MT(ASCP) & Joann Berte, MBA
    Senior Management Engineer, Cleveland Clinic
  • Healthcare Exchanges
    Carrie Haughawout
    Assistant Director of Policy and Product Coordination, Ohio Department of Insurance
  • Panel Discussion:  Innovation in Healthcare Transformation

Jennifer Kessel:  Human Resources at Aultman Orrville Hospital

Rob David, CPA: President at UH Regional Hospitals Bedford and Richmond Campuses

Chuck Josey:  Vice President of Corp. Finance at LakeHealth

Duane Woods:  VP of Finance & CFO at Fisher-TitusMedicalCenter


The presentations from these and all other speakers are available on the chapter website under Resources – Educational Materials.

Networking Events:

Wednesday night the group relaxed poolside with cocktails and dinner.  The evening was capped off with a Texas Hold’em poker tournament, hors d’oeuvres and assorted games like Left, Center, Right and pong.

Thursday evening kicked off with several fabulous prize raffles from our vendor fair sponsors and was followed by our annual Casino Night and prize raffle. The GHALI entertainment committee gathered over 12 great prize baskets for this year’s raffle.



Corn Hole

Friday afternoon networking activities afforded attendees the option of onsite golf at Sawmill or spa services at the nearby Kalahari Resort.







Save the Date – Upcoming NEOHFMA Programs

Log onto the NEOHFMA Website (http://neohfma.org/events_calendar.html) for more information on our upcoming programs:

 Volunteer Appreciation Outing 

Firestone Country Club, Akron, Ohio


Thursday, September 11, 2014

 Additional events are being planned; please check the website for updates.


Ensuring Clinical Revenue Integrity in ICD-10: A Multidisciplinary Collaborative Effort

Join us for a Webinar on August 14

10:00 AM – 11:00 AM EDT

 Space is limited. Reserve your Webinar seat now at: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/159033050

The objective of the presentation will be to ensure providing Clinical Documentation Improvement. Health Information Management collaborative practices within an analytical infrastructure impacting the ICD-10 documentation improvement process that are driven from new ICD-10 coding rules, tabular inclusion/exclusion annotations and clinical parameter required. This will be demonstrated with applicable case scenarios, to mitigate risk within a clinical revenue infrastructure.


 2014 HFMA’s Virtual Conference

September 18 and December 16 

Experience HFMA’s Virtual Conference created for healthcare finance leaders. This interactive, live 4-day event includes influential speakers, dynamic education sessions, online networking opportunities, industry solutions, and CPE credits. Attend these online events available from the comfort of your home or office. Visit www.hfma.org/virtualconference for more information and to register for this free educational event

National HFMA Seminars – Save the Dates

HFMA Seminars are popular, timely educational sessions to help you keep pace with industry changes, while you strengthen your individual skills. Choose between 1-, 2-, and 3-day options in three different locations:

Chicago Seminars
December 8–10, 2014

Washington, D.C. Seminars
February 18–20, 2015

Seattle Seminars
March 25–27, 2015


HFMA MAP Event: Revenue Cycle Conference

Las Vegas November 2nd – 4th

MAP Event

Upcoming Live Webinars

Take a look at the upcoming Webinars offered by HFMA and consider sitting in on one as an easy way to get the information you need on pressing healthcare finance topics. From the comfort of your office, you can participate in a Webinar and find the strategies and tools you need to help your organization achieve success. Log onto the HFMA Website (www.hfma.org) to sign up or get more information about the topic.  The following Webinars are free to HFMA members.

Using New Business Models to Reduce Hip and Knee Implant Expenses

Tuesday, Aug. 12 — 3:00 – 4:30 p.m., EDT


  • Steve Lamb, Lead Partner, Implant Partners
  • Jason Baty, Partner Alignment Leader, Implant Partners
  • Matt Henderson, Principal, TRG Healthcare Solutions

This webinar will cover:

  • Identify the factors contributing to current prices of hip and knee implants.
  • Summarize how a rep replacement model can generate tremendous savings in uncomplicated, primary hip and knee procedures.
  • Identify steps of a business model that helps manage organizational changes and transition hospital readiness.
  • Understand how payers are partnering with providers to implement managed care programs to drive quality and cost savings with this model.
  • Recite the importance of sharing savings with surgeons to gain complete alignment and agreement

Tools & Takeaways

  • Support materials for model (from Implant Partners) and shared savings (from TRG Healthcare)

 Linking Payment with Quality: Reducing Rehospitalizations

Thursday, Aug. 14 — 3:00 – 4:00 p.m., EDT


David R. GIfford, MD, MPH

Senior Vice President for Quality and Regulatory Affairs

American Healthcare Association

This webinar will cover:

  • Describe the new SNF Value-Based Purchasing legislation passed in Spring 2014.
  • Understand that while measurement is key, changing practice and internal tracking of rehospitalization rates are critical.
  • Explain how selecting measures to link to payment is only the first step, and how the measures used by payers and ACOs are more important to understand.
  • Explain the time frame and resources needed to implement practices to achieve lower readmission rates.

Tools & Takeaways

  • Measurement descriptions for proposed risk-adjusted rehospitalization measures and other post-acute care quality measures.
  • Links to free resources to help reduce readmissions.
  • INTERACT program to reduce rehospitalizations.
  • Advancing Excellence website for Excel tracking tool.

Understanding How Predictive Tools Help Expedite Value Analysis

Thursday, August 21 — 3:00 – 4:30 p.m., EDT

This webinar is the third in a series of four, all of which are co-sponsored by McKesson and AHRMM.


Scott E. Pruyn

Director, Channel Management

McKesson Technology Solutions

This webinar will cover:

  • Transition your product evaluation committee into an expedited value analysis team.
  • Discuss predictive tools available to support broadening the consolidation model.
  • Expand your value analysis efforts to a sustainable repeatable process

Tools & Takeaways

  • Attendees will have access to a whitepaper following the webinar

Driving P4P with Data Visualization

Tuesday, Aug. 26 — 3:00 – 4:30 p.m., EDT


  • Ron Iller, Nursing Consultant, Capacity Management, McKesson Corporation
  • Mark Skiba, Senior Product Manager, Capacity Management, McKesson Corporation

This webinar will cover:

  • Move beyond retrospective analysis to real-time and prospective decision-making.
  • Understand and recognize what makes data visualization so powerful.
  • Motivate stakeholders to take desired action based on skillful data presentation.
  • See how intuitive dashboards combined with real-time visual controls can help drive P4P performance.

Tools & Takeaways

  • HFM article, “Digging Deeper into Data”

Responding to the Delayed ICD-10 Implementation

Wednesday, Aug. 27, — 3:00 – 4:30 p.m., EDT


  • Melinda Ramsdell, Treasury Solutions Manager, Bank of America Merrill Lynch
  • Curtis Crispin, Senior Product Sales Segment Manager, Bank of America Merrill Lynch
  • Patrick McDermott, System Vice President, Revenue Cycle, Presence Health
  • Tim Pollard, Revenue Cycle Director, New Hanover Regional Medical Center

This webinar will cover:

  • Identify the opportunities associated with the ICD-10 implementation to decrease impact to cash flow practices and credit.
  • Define the impacts on key stakeholders.
  • Gain insights into potential future scenarios.

Innovations in Cost Accounting Drive Value-Based Healthcare

Thursday, Aug. 28 — 3:00 – 4:30 p.m., EDT


  • Roger D. Bullerdick, Outcomes Executive, Allscripts

This webinar will cover:

  • Articulate the relative merits of various healthcare cost accounting methodologies.
  • Recite the importance of developing comprehensive and accurate costs to support bundled payment and risk-based contract negotiations.
  • Explain the value equation in the context of cost and quality.

Solving the Payments Puzzle: What You Need to Know About the Mandated EFT and ERA Operating Rules

Thursday, Sept. 4 — 3:00 – 4:00 p.m., EDT


Tom Dean, Senior Vice President, Enterprise Solutions, Emdeon

This webinar will cover:

  • Summarize the different types of provider payments.
  • Explain the pros and cons of each payment option.
  • Create effective payment acceptance strategies

Tools & Takeaways

  • Infographic, “The State of Payments,” and a white paper

eCommerce Reshapes Patient Financial Services

Wednesday, Sept. 10 — 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m., EDT


  • Cindy Rudow, FHFMA, Director of Patient Financial Services, ValleyCare Health Systems
  • Tomer Shoval, CEO & Co-founder, Simplee

This webinar will cover:

  • Summarize consumer-friendly billing and ways to shift the patient revenue cycle from wholesale to retail.
  • Create a paperless billing strategy where paper functions as a gateway to self-service payment.
  • Identify barriers and align incentives for the rapid adoption of self-service payments.

Tools & Takeaways

  • Worksheet: “Assessing your hospital’s patient billing experience”
  • White paper: “How paperless billing is changing patient collections?”

Adapting to the Affordable Care Act with Proven Financial Planning Techniques

Wednesday, Sept. 17 — 3:00 – 4:30 p.m., EDT


  • Aaron Stewart, Director of Corporate Finance, LHP Hospital Group
  • David Janotha, VP, Healthcare Industry, Axiom EPM

This webinar will cover:

  • Describe how these advancements have allowed LHP Hospital Group to align strategic planning, multi-year forecasts and departmental budgets, ensuring proper resource allocation and planning, all in a single system for their entire company.
  • Articulate the benefits of and approaches to scenario “what-if” modeling for healthcare organizations.
  • Apply some of the same approaches that LHP hospitals use to support decision making to adapt to the Affordable Care Act.

Controlling Costly Physician Preference Items

Thursday, October 16 — 3:00 – 4:30 p.m., EDT


  • Scott E. Pruyn, Director, Channel Management, McKesson Technology Solutions

This webinar will cover:

Physician preference items (PPI)—including medical devices—account for approximately 40 percent of a typical provider organization’s budget. Controlling PPIs is critical for an organization’s financial success. Organizations need to better capture and understand their PPI purchases by putting new processes in place. These new methods will improve visibility into supply consumption, charge validation, and standardization opportunities.

Tools & Takeaways

Attendees will have access to a whitepaper following the webinar.

The Networking Committee has been very busy planning our 2014 Holiday Party.

Please save the date to attend this great event from 6:00 – 10:00 PM on Thursday December 11, 2014 at the Cleveland Botanical Garden.


A New Paradigm for Technology

Triple Aim

As health care organizations pursue the Triple Aim vision, they need to explore every facet of their care delivery systems.  Reliance on technology, the vehicle for reform, requires organizations to take a fresh look at how they view technology assets.  This paper briefly explores a new paradigm for technology acquisition and lifecycle management that aligns with improving patient care, reducing health delivery costs, and improving population health.

An old strategy in a new environment

Historically, most health care organizations viewed technology like an emerging nuisance–with reluctant providers preferring pen and paper.  Technology equipment was not regarded with the same esteem as equipment used to deliver direct patient care, nor could a direct line be drawn to the bottom line.  Therefore, in many health care organizations, an efficient and cost-effective strategy was never developed to acquire and manage the lifecycle of technology, resulting in costly maintenance and repairs over time.

What has changed?

HITECH and the PPACA have created an environment where technology is critical in improving patient care, enhancing the patient experience, and reducing health delivery costs.  Electronic Health Records (EHR) utilization incentives and penalties are directly tied to an organization’s financial performance.  New regulations and new technology require new strategies.  While holding on to outdated technology may have been an option in the past, employing this strategy today will hinder performance, competitiveness and the bottom line.

What makes this so different?

2014 is a pivotal year in health care:

+        Decreases in reimbursements

+        Technology incentives drying-up

+        Introduction of insurance exchanges

+        Unpredictable government regulations (ex: ICD-10)

These changes are decreasing cash flow, aging accounts receivables, and challenging even the largest and strongest institutions. This is the new normal; health care organizations are trying to become comfortable with being uncomfortable.

It is time to rethink the paradigm

A strategic commitment to keeping technology current is essential for health care organizations to achieve the Triple Aim, remain competitive and, ultimately, to survive.  Embracing a routine refresh cycle utilizing lease financing enables you to:

+        Lower acquisition costs: low, fixed payments made over the lease term will cost less than purchasing the equipment outright

+        Reduce indirect costs: technology is a rapidly changing commodity with a short useful life; aligning term with useful life and maintenance coverage will significantly reduce support and out-of-warranty maintenance costs

+        Stay current and flexible: as technology changes, health care organizations can easily refresh equipment to keep pace with innovations in technology

Leasing is not a decision based on whether or not you use your cash. It is a strategic financing method organizations use to manage the life cycle of their equipment. 

Untapped Savings

Unlike traditional for-profit businesses, non-profit hospitals do not experience the tax savings created by the depreciation of assets (a tax-shield). Leasing is the only tool that will allow hospitals to experience savings from the tax-shield. In a true lease, the leasing organization is able to depreciate the equipment, resulting in tax savings that will pass through to the health care organization.


Budgeting for technology in this era involves a new paradigm for how we acquire and maintain equipment. The solution to technology management challenges facing health care today starts with rethinking the way we view technology and its increasing importance in our pursuit of the Triple Aim. Organizations must make a strategic commitment to technology and create an environment that is able to adapt to change.

Works Cited

1Timothy Morey and Roopa Nambiar, “Using total cost of ownership to determine optimal PC refresh lifecycles,” Intel, pp. 3-9, May 2009. Available at: http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/pc-upgrades/pc-upgrade-industry-study-using-total-cost-of-ownership-to-determine-optimal-pc-refresh-lifecycles-paper.html. [Accessed February 10, 2012].



In each row, change the first letter of the two words to a different letter (the same letter for both) to form two new words.  Write the new letter in the blank.

What word is formed vertically by the new letters?

NOOSE           ________        VIVID

TONIC             ________        ONSET

LIPPY              ________        PYLON

DOWEL          ________        OAKEN

E-mail your answer to Rhonda Ridenour at rridenour@avitahs.org. All correct entries will be included in a drawing and one lucky entrant will receive a $25 gift certificate.


Previous Puzzle Answer

Place a different military rank in front of each of the words below to form a common two-word phrase.

Corporal Punishment

Private Detective

General Admission

Major League


Diane Lilko, CPA

Manager, Accounting and Finance at University Hospitals

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