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Intersection of Financial and Regulatory Forces is Broadening Roles of Healthcare CFOs
Date:6/24/2008

Ernst & Young Report Reveals Healthcare CFO Perspectives on Top Industry

Challenges

LAS VEGAS, June 24 /PRNewswire/ -- With the US healthcare system on the threshold of change, healthcare chief financial officers feel the need to anticipate change and begin the process of business transformation before the arrival of any public policy mandates. CFOs face daunting challenges, and their insights on the state of the industry are revealed in a new report released today by Ernst & Young LLP: Healthcare change: Reform or transformation? A CFO perspective.

Based on confidential and candid discussions in two forums with 23 CFOs from leading US healthcare systems earlier this year, the report provides a picture of an industry in financial distress through the eyes of healthcare financial executives.

"As resource pressures mount and regulatory oversight intensifies, CFOs can expect their financial management skills and their policy management expertise to be sharply tested," said Rick Wallace, Managing Partner for Ernst & Young's Health Advisory Services practice. "Leading CFOs now must embrace their role as change agents, analyzing risks and strategies to help guide their companies through a difficult transition, which is nothing short of an industry overhaul."

The forum participants concurred on seven critical issues likely to reshape the industry in years to come.

Paying for healthcare: Hospital finances are being eroded by the growing numbers -- now 47 million -- of uninsured and underinsured. Aging populations, expensive drugs and technology, rising labor costs and hospital obligations to provide care -- regardless of ability to pay -- have combined to create a perfect storm for the industry. Stepping up workforce productivity is seen as the only last chance to improve margins. CFOs agree that curbing the escalating costs must be at the core of healthcare reform.

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SOURCE Ernst & Young
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