Thank You to Our Platinum and Presidential Sponsors

2008 Issue 2

In This Issue:
[President's Message]
[New Members - Welcome to NEOHFMA]
[Welcome Back]
[Northeast Ohio HFMA Speaker Series]
[August Program Recap]
[Membership Challenge]
[Article: HFMA Value Proposition]
[Certification News]
[2008 Newsletter Survey]
Newsletter Archive

Presidents Message

Chuck Josey, PresidentDear Fellow HFMA Members:

May you live in interesting times. Whether it is a proverb or a curse is debatable, but for those in the healthcare finance profession, this ancient Chinese phrase now has new meaning. The unprecedented economic challenges of the past few months have impacted not only Wall Street but our local hospitals and our own personal balance sheets. When I look at my own retirement plan accounts, I wonder if I’ll ever retire! This leads to thoughts of what the business of healthcare will look like in 20 years given the rapid rate of technology, regulation, and competition, and what a challenge it will be to keep up with all the changes. I now also have a newfound respect for those who have been in the business 30+ years and are still on top of the latest trends and technology.

During times like this, the value of HFMA becomes much greater both as a resource for information and for staying connected with others. As a member of the Northeast Ohio chapter, you should have recently received the 2008-2009 chapter directory. This is an invaluable resource as it contains not only the contact information for all 600+ Northeast Ohio chapter members but a variety of useful information relative to HFMA at both the local and national levels. Towards the front of the directory you will find pages that delineate each of our chapter’s committees. These committees are designed to allow members with similar interests to network and, in the process, plan and execute virtually everything our chapter does. To join a committee, simply contact one of the co-chairs. Participation on a committee is a great way to maximize the value of your HFMA membership by helping you make personal connections with others in the field.

Our chapter strives to create top quality educational offerings as well as networking events for our members. An example of this is the program being held on Wednesday, October 29 which will feature concurrent tracks on the themes of “Accounting and Finance” and “Reimbursement”. On October 30, we will be offering a webcast on the new “Red Flag” requirements. We will also be offering a free webcast on Data Mining on November 19. Lastly, our holiday awards party will be held the evening of Thursday, December 4, at The Club at Key Center in downtown Cleveland. Mark your calendar as you won’t want to miss these!


Chuck Josey, CPA

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New Members Spotlight - 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.

Jeremy Taylor
Cleveland Clinic

Getting to Know You Questions:
What do you like most about working in healthcare?
I like the fact that the work I do every day has some impact on a patient.

Where did you go to college?
University of Phoenix

What is your favorite restaurant in Northeast Ohio?
Mama Santas in Little Italy.

Ernie Richmond
Cleveland Clinic

Getting to Know You Questions:
Why did you decide to get involved in HFMA?
Since I am new to the healthcare industry, I thought it would help me quickly get up to speed on current issues and hot topics within the industry.

Where did you go to college?
Cleveland State University

Browns, Indians, both, or neither?

Rob Demko

Getting to Know You Questions:
What is the biggest challenge you face in your position?
Most of the client I work with our located outside of KeyBank’s brick and mortar footprint. The challenge I face is selling KeyBank to those clients who may not know much about KeyBank.

What was the last book you read?
One Minute to Midnight

Jessica Korman
Cleveland Clinic

Getting to Know You Questions:
What do you like most about working in healthcare?
The continual pursuit of excellence by providing better patient care, developing new efficiencies and strategically expanding our services

Why did you decide to get involved in HFMA?
To build my professional network and to obtain certification

What activities do you enjoy outside of work?
Running, rollerblading, cycling

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Welcome Back
HFMA Members that have reinstated their Membership

Joseph F. Rigler
University Hospitals

Karen S. Kelsie
Akron General Medical Ctr

Aldo R. Mase
East Liverpool City Hospital

Steven L. Monette
Valley regional Healthcare Inc.

Norene H. Henderson
University Hospitals

Eric Rogers
University Hospitals

Liz A. Matuk
Cleveland Clinic

Jackie Fuentes
University Hospitals

Anthony C. Gold
Cleveland Clinic

Dale Van Gorder
Inventurus Knowledge Solutions

Brenda B Young
East Liverpool City Hospital

Thomas P. Whitehead
Gardiner Trane

Cheryl Arnold
Cleveland Clinic

Bethany Lyons
Ernst & Young

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Northeast Ohio HFMA Speaker Series
Save the Date for these upcoming programs!

Program Date: October 29, 2008
Program Location: Corporate College East

Accounting & Auditing (Track 1) – Reimbursement (Track 2

Track 1 - Developing a Balance Scorecard Approach, Hot Topics in Healthcare Accounting & Reporting, and The New 990 – Is your organization ready?

Track -2 The FYE 2009 Legislative Update.


  • Carmen V. Natale, M.S., Sr. Management Engineer. Summa health Systems
  • Susan Flaherty, Partner, Ernst & Young
  • Jeff Petrell, CPA, JD. Partner, Carbis Walker LLP
  • Julie DiFrancesco, Partner/Principal, Ernst & Young
  • Emily Auten, Manager, Ernst & Young

Program Date: October 30, 2008
Program Location: Audio Conference – Noon to 1:00pm

Red Flag Rule

As of November 1, 2008, the Federal Trade Commission’s “Red Flag Rule” becomes effective. Are you ready?


  • Scott P. Sandrock, Esq, member of the health care practice of Brennan, Manna, & Diamond, LLC

    Check the NEO HFMA website for additional program information & registration

Program Date: December 4, 2008
Program Location: The Club at Key Bank Center

The Annual Awards Holiday Party

A classy evening with a unique metropolitan View located in Downtown Cleveland. Social hour to begin at 6:00 with a classic piano and holiday carols. Dinner will be served at 7:00 with music and dancing available for your entertainment at 8:00.

More information to come on this upcoming event.

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August Program Recap

Strategic Financial Outlook
& Annual Volunteer Appreciation Outing

The Strategic Financial Outlook Program in August at the Sweetbriar Golf Club was a huge success. Four separate speakers offered their insight to the future of our industry. Topics included our industry’s State of the Union, Capital Markets, and uncertainty surrounding Reimbursement. The fundamental principles of a Value-Based Pricing Strategy identify the drivers and an approach to implementation was discussed.

Christopher Kerns, a Senior Consultant at the Advisory Board Company

James P. Brown, a Principal in the Healthcare Practice of Deloitte Consulting

Christopher J. Donovan, a Senior Director of the Fiscal Services at the Cleveland Clinic

Margery B. Mazoh, a Senior Project Manager in Fiscal Services at the Cleveland Clinic

Click here to see the Presentation

The event wrapped up with lunch being served on the patio overlooking the beautiful surroundings of the Sweetbriar Golf Club. The Volunteer Appreciation Outing included playing golf on the Legacy course or relaxing the afternoon away at Spa West.

Congratulations to the winners who will receive 18 holes at the Sweetbriar’s Legacy Course for their outstanding Play:

John Cohoat – Closest to Pin
Tammy Zografos – Longest Putt
Mike Harrington – Longest Drive
Matt Sheldon – Closest to Pin

We would like to thank the speakers for their participation in this program and to all the volunteers for their endless work in making this past year an outstanding HFMA year.

Click to see photos from this event

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The HFMA Value Proposition

By Thomas Albanesi, Jr. FHFMA, CPA

I was recently asked by Region 11 Regional Executive Walt Luke to write an article about the value of HFMA. Apparently, Region 11 has some chapters that are losing members because some employers don’t believe there is much value in their employees being members of HFMA. I’m going to attempt to provide you with some talking points to address this challenge.

Before you can attempt to educate your employer on the value of HFMA, you first need to assess whether you’re getting as much value out of your membership as you could be. Do you even look at your copy of hfm magazine when it’s delivered, or is it tossed into a pile with all the other reading materials you don’t read? Why is hfm different, and why should it be placed on top of your reading materials ahead of all the others? Easy—it’s the one monthly magazine that covers your industry from A to Z. It is full of insightful articles, commentary, and tools that can help you excel in your job. Many of the articles are written by your peers, who are offering their ideas and expertise to their fellow healthcare finance professionals.

Other sources of information in hfm are the display ads. Healthcare vendors know that hfm has the exact audience they are looking for, and they spend big bucks on these ads. New products, new solutions, and customized answers are often debuted in these ads. If you’re seeking a solution to a challenge at work, the answer may be in an ad in hfm.

Are you using the HFMA web site at It’s packed with information that can help you and your employer solve challenges at work. If you haven’t logged in for a while, do so today. It’s easy to use and it is searchable. The content is continuously updated for late-breaking healthcare issues. Unlike the results produced by using a generic web browser (which can be potluck at best), the content on the HFMA web site has been vetted for its applicability to the field of healthcare finance.

What about the online member directory? It’s a valuable tool that provides quick access to your peers both in your chapter and across the organization.

If you’re not an active member, either get active or don’t be shocked when your boss informs you that your membership dues won’t be covered. Better yet, get involved in your chapter. I was a classic HFMA wallflower who looked at my shoes anytime the chapter was soliciting volunteers. I was quite reluctant to volunteer. But once I did, the value of my membership soared! I was viewed much differently by my peers, and to this day I enjoy a level of respect in my chapter that I would have never attained without becoming an active volunteer. It’s so true—you’ll get much more out of HFMA if you put something into it.

Now that you’ve assessed your own efforts to derive value from your HFMA membership, let’s start on your employer. First, explain to your employer what HFMA is: the premiere membership association for healthcare finance professionals. An organization whose vision is “to be an indispensable resource for healthcare finance.” An industry leader that doesn’t just report healthcare news, but is helping to create the future of health care.

The best way to demonstrate the value HFMA brings to employers who pay our dues is to give tangible examples of the times you’ve used HFMA resources to solve a problem or learn something valuable. Show your boss the in-depth articles in hfm. Introduce him or her to the web site and to the quality and depth of resources that are listed. Share how the online member directory has been a resource to you in solving a problem. Show an agenda from an upcoming meeting, and highlight the line-up of industry experts who will be presenting. Better yet, get your boss to accompany you to an upcoming meeting and see the value first-hand. Or speak with the program committee about getting your boss a presenter’s role at an upcoming meeting.

Any human resources consultant worth a hoot will tell you that an educated workforce is critical in today’s fast-moving information age. Explain to your employer that there is no better organization than HFMA to keep you informed about the latest developments in healthcare finance. Forward to him or her pertinent e-mail alerts we receive on breaking issues, as well as the “Weekly News Highlights” e-mail that summarizes (with links for expanded analysis) critical developments in the healthcare industry.

Finally, make a value comparison with other resources your organization consumes. Suppose your annual HFMA budget consists of $3,000, which covers your dues, a few chapter meetings, and perhaps ANI. Compare that with the cost of engaging a consultant for one day and make a value comparison! I’m not knocking consultants; I used to be one earlier in my career. My point is that HFMA is an incredible year-round value for healthcare finance professionals.

Thomas Albanesi, FHFMA, CPA, is vice president, corporate finance, West Penn Allegheny Health System, Pittsburgh, and a member and past president of HFMA’s Western Pennsylvania Chapter. He is also a member of the HFMA National’s Board of Directors and chair of HFMA’s 2008-09 Regional Executive Council.

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A message brought to you by your NEO Chapter Membership Committee

HFMA’s 2008-09 Member-Get-A-Member Program

As an NEO HFMA member, you are in the best possible position to share your experiences as a member and help impact HFMA’s future. Because you already know the value HFMA brings to the healthcare financial management industry and the industry professionals who make up our association, you are our strongest link to new members!

Here’s how the 2008-2009 Member-Get-A-Member Program works:

  • Recruit one or two new members who begin their membership between June 1, 2008, and April 30, 2009, or former* HFMA members who reactivate their membership between Aug. 1, 2008, and April 30, 2009, and you will win your choice of an HFMA apparel item (approximate retail value of $25) or a $25 Fuel Visa Prepaid Card.† Fuel cards can be used at the gas station of your choice or anywhere Visa debit cards are accepted worldwide.
  • Recruit three or four new and/or former* HFMA members and you will receive a $100 Visa prepaid card good anywhere Visa debit cards are accepted worldwide. You will also be entered into a drawing among those who recruited three or four members to receive a $1,000 cash prize.
  • Recruit five or more new and/or former* members and you will receive a $150 Visa prepaid card. You will also be entered into a drawing among those who recruited five or more members to receive a $2,500 cash prize.

Grand Prize: Member-Get-A-Member “Make a Difference”
For every new or former* member you recruit, you will receive one entry into the drawing for the Member-Get-A-Member “Make a Difference” Grand Prize worth $5,000. You will receive $3,000 in cash for yourself and a $2,000 donation in your name to the charitable organization of your choice.

You will receive one entry in the drawing for each new member or former* HFMA member you bring in (or bring back). The more members you sponsor, the greater your chance to win! You are our strongest recruitment link to new members!

We encourage you to be a part of this campaign. HFMA membership spans the entire spectrum of healthcare financial management. Tap your company colleagues, industry connections, and other professionals in the community and join us in growing our organization. For more information on the MGAM program, please visit or contact

* Sponsors will receive credit in the Member-Get-A-Member campaign for former members who reinstate (reactivate) their memberships between August 1, 2008, and April 30, 2009. Sponsors will also continue to receive credit in the Member-Get-A-Member campaign for new members who join (or have joined) between June 1, 2008, and April 30, 2009. Cards are issued by Citibank, N.A. pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. and managed by Ecount, a Citi company.

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Certification News
By Robert Matitia

2007-2008 self study guides and corresponding exams
expire December 31, 2008

  • You are encouraged to take the HFMA exams prior to the end of the year so that you do not need to prepare again from the new 2009-2010 study guides that will be available at the end of the year.
  • The 2007-2008 exam will available until December 31, 2008 for a first-time attempt at that exam. Candidates who are unsuccessful on the 2007-2008 exam are eligible to retake it one more time after a required 90-day wait period has been met and prior to April 11, 2008. After April 11, 2008, only the 2009-2010 exams will be available for subsequent retakes. Exam fees apply for all retakes.
  • If an exam being taken for the first time is scheduled January 1, 2009 or later, the candidate will be administered the 2009-2010 version of the exam.

Thank you for your interest in the HFMA CHFP Exam!

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Kudos to You!
By Jack Bailey

Congratulations to Sue Spanos who joined UHHS/CSAHS – Cuyahoga, Inc as Manager Reimbursement/Revenue Support.

I would also like to give Bob Kaliszewski some well deserved Kudos for being a swell guy! Have a great day Kal!

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Puzzle –90’s Sitcoms
By Jack Bailey

We've taken the titles of well-known sitcoms that first aired between 1990 and 1999 and put them through the scrambler. The letters within each word have been mixed up, and then spaces have been removed. The number in parentheses next to each mess of letters tells the number of words in the title. Can you reconstruct the original titles?

1. SWNIG (1)
2. IFSERRA (1)
3. IFSENRD (1)

E-mail your answer to Debora Guillermo at All correct entries will be included in a drawing and one lucky entrant will receive a $25 gift certificate.

Previous puzzle –Pre-Olympic Rehearsal

Athlete#1 #2
Steve Curtail13
Kev Bowler24
John Arnold31
Dave Donald42

Beth Meese of the Cleveland Clinic won a $25 gift card to the Olive Garden.

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2008 Newsletter Reader Survey
Northeast Ohio HFMA Chapter

In order to provide you with the most interesting and useful chapter newsletter possible, we’d like a few minutes of your time to answer the following questions:

1. My favorite part of the newsletter is:
2. Event Photos
3. Technical Articles
4. Member Articles
5. Event Recaps
6. The overall layout of the newsletter
Please add any additional comments you would like to share about the newsletter:
Thanks for your opinion!
NEO HFMA Newsletter Committee

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Corporate Sponsor Program
We gratefully acknowledge the commitment of our Corporate Sponsors who assist in the funding of the Chapter's programs and activities
Presidential Level
Ernst & Young, LLP
Human Arc
Long-O'Shea & Co. LLC
Platinum Club
Joseph R. Harrison Company, LPA
HRSI/FirstCredit International Corp.
IC Systems
JP Recovery Services, Inc.
MedCom Solutions
NatCity Investments, Inc.
Revenue Group/HRS
Total Practice Management, LLC
Gold Club
CareMedic Systems
Squire, Sanders & Dempsey LLP
Silver Club
Cirius Group, Inc.
Kreg Information Systems
Bronze Club
ARC Group
Bruner-Cox, LLP
Calfee, Halter & Griswold LLP
CDR Associates, LLC
DMI Transitions
Emrhein & Associates
HMC Group
JP Morgan Chase
KeyBanc Capital Markets
Masters Assocs Receivables
Mgmt, Inc.
NCO Financial Systems Inc.
OSI Healthcare Services
Quadax, Inc.
Receivables Outsourcing Group
Resources Global Professionals
Sanford Rose Associates - Executive Search
Senex Services
Vorys, Sater, Seymour & Pease LLP
Wise Management Services, Inc.
Wolfskill & Associates

HFMA Northeast Ohio
Chapter Officers

Charles S. Josey

Anna Sulewski

Vice President
Michael Manfull

Susan R. Flaherty


Suzanne M. Tschetter


Karen Mihalik

Chapter Coordinator
Kathleen A. Much

Board of Directors
Jack Bailey
Diane Lilko
Stephen Rybka
Claudio Zanin
Richard Jorz

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