Thank You to Our Platinum and Presidential Sponsors

2009 Issue 4

In This Issue:
[President's Message]
[New Members Spolight]
[New Members - Welcome to NEOHFMA]
[Welcome Back]
[Save the Date!]
[Program Recaps]
[Educational Articles]
Newsletter Archive

Presidents Message

Dear Fellow HFMA members,

Every spring, our chapter holds an event honoring Gerry Haggerty and his dedication to healthcare finance. For those of you not having an opportunity to work with Gerry, he was the Chief Financial Officer of University Hospitals of Cleveland from 1985-1995, and active in the Greater Cleveland Hospital Association, the Ohio Hospital Association and HFMA. Unfortunately, Gerry passed away soon after retirement but his legacy as a financial healthcare leader in Northeast Ohio continues with this annual celebration.

This year’s Gerry Haggerty Annual Leadership Institute (GHALI) will be held May 19-21, 2010 at the Glenmoor Country Club in Canton, OH. Richard Clarke, president and chief executive officer of the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA), Charles Cataline, Senior Director of Health Policy of the Ohio Hospital Association and Matt Elrich, Managing Director of the Advisory Board are keynote speakers. GHALI provides local, cost effective education for you and your team and this year’s theme is “Surviving Change.” Hope you can make it!

This is my last newsletter so I wanted to thank you for your time and support! I’ve really enjoyed my year and wanted to share the successes of our most recent programs: February’s PFS program and March’s Past Presidents’ Appreciation and March Madness event. A big thank you to Steve Rybka, Diane Lilko, and their respective committees for putting together educational programs that broke past attendance records! Both sessions contained respected healthcare leaders for speakers and held interactive and insightful panel discussions with attendees. Well done!

Lastly, I would like to thank Jack Bailey, Justin Williams, and the entire newsletter committee to the many improvements to our chapter's newsletter! And a huge thank you to Kathy Much and her tireless efforts supporting the leadership team as well as our chapter’s members!

Thank you for making another year count!


Anna Sulewski, CPA
Northeast Ohio Chapter, HFMA

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Sponsor Corner

A closer look at some of the sponsors of the
Northeast Ohio Chapter of HFMA.

Company/Organization: Joseph R. Harrison Company, LPA

Getting to Know You Questions:

1. Tell us about your Company/Organization.
Joseph R. Harrison Company, LPA is a collection law office focused on serving the healthcare industry in the collection of patient balances. JRH was established by Joseph R. Harrison in 1975. From our very beginning, he incorporated the latest technology and the best people into his collection model.

We provide comprehensive services to hospitals, medical/dental practices, ambulance companies and nursing homes. Joseph R. Harrison Co. LPA provides the following services to the medical industry: Traditional Collection, Payment Plan Monitoring, On Site Financial Counseling, Early Out/In-House Collection, Customer Service, Special Projects, Self-Pay Receivable Clean-Up and Staff Training.

2. What makes your Company/Organization Unique?
Someone’s career is on the line when they choose us and we do not repay that trust with failure. Our clients always come first and we get results without administrative complaints. We never tell a client we can not deliver a service they need. We own all of our IT systems and we can make them do anything we want. When our clients have issues that require special handling and a deft customer service touch, we are proud that they call us.

3. What recent achievement or development would you like to share?
Our ON-SITE FINANCIAL COUNSELOR SERVICE provides a proven methodology to collect more money upfront and reduce the cost of re-working. We provide trained Financial Counselors on site in the hospital Registration office; 6:00 am to Midnight; Monday – Saturday guaranteed. Proper training in customer service is paramount to maintaining a good image in the community. Our Financial Counselors are trained, not only in the resources needed for payment, but also, in how to properly guide the patient to the best financial outcome – both for the patient and the hospital.

4. Where are your headquarters?
Joseph R. Harrison Co., LPA
310 and 312 N. Cleveland-Massillon Road
Akron, OH 44333 Contact Joe Harrison or Dave Hersman at 1-800-722-3328 or 330-666-6900,, or visit

5. Why did your Company/Organization get involved in HFMA?
We became involved with HFMA for multiple reasons. The first was networking and the opportunity to meet hospital executives who might be interested in using our services. HFMA is also the educational source for discussion of, trends, and innovation in our industry. HIPPA, RAC, Medicare/Medicaid, insurance contract issues, federal and state legislation, etc. present an ever-changing environment that requires constant vigilance. It gives us the opportunity to have our own impact on the way our industry solves problems.

6. How has HFMA impacted your Company/Organization?
We have become a better vendor because of our HFMA involvement,. We learn about the problems that arise in the industry and we craft innovative, practical solutions going forward. Over the years we have found that the HFMA educational programs and our association with fellow members have given us many, solid management ideas for our business.

HFMA Sponsors -

Do not forget to get your company’s spotlight & new products & services mentioned in the Newsletter.

Have you and your organization reviewed and joined the HFMA Northeast Ohio Chapter Linked In & Facebook groups yet? Contact Mike Manfull for additional information.

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New Members Spotlight - Welcome to NEOHFMA!

A closer look at some of the newest members to the Northeast Ohio Chapter of HFMA.

Angela Kaye McCracken, SPHR
The Whittaker Group Healthcare Search

Getting to Know You Questions:
Browns, Indians, both, or neither?
Definitely Indians!

What activities do you enjoy outside of work
Volunteering, Running, & Singing in Church

Why did you decide to get involved in HFMA?
Because I’m an Executive Recruiting Researcher specializing in national healthcare accounting & finance. This allows me to get to know professionals on both a personal & professional level.

What was the last book you read?
Good to Great

Richard Peplin III
Cleveland State University

Getting to Know You Questions:
What is your favorite restaurant in Northeast Ohio?
Sushi Rock

Why did you decide to get involved in HFMA?
As a college student, HFMA offers invaluable insight into the challenges I will face as a finance professional in the healthcare industry.

What activities do you enjoy outside of work?
When not working or studying, I enjoy boating, golfing, and skiing.

What do you like most about working in healthcare?
I look forward to working in healthcare because it provides the opportunity to make a difference in an industry that directly affects quality of life for everyone.

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.

Kevin B. Rotenberry
Sheik Khalifa Medical City

Daniel E. Barr, FACHE

University Hospital

Deborah A. Cardillo

Lamar Schlabach

Equipe Corporation

Mary A. Campbell, RN

Metrohealth System

Anna Rogers

Blue & Co.

Mathew Holz

C. TRAC Information Solutions

Terry M. McDonald

RSM McGladrey

Tyler N. Lewis
CompuData, Inc.

Michelle L. Earich

The Wellington Group, LLC

Thomas Andersson


Ryan A. Kozak

Cardea Partners

Diane E. Knight

Aptium Oncology

Diane Murray

The ROI Companies

Angela K. McCracken

Whittaker Group Healthcare Search Consultants

Gil D. Cody

Maryann T. Kovalak

Southwest General Health Center

Allana Haut

Cleveland Clinic

Amy M. Konopka

CSI Network Services

Lenora Shumate

Key Bank

Jim Freimark


Shana L. Locktish

Akron Children’s Hospital

Betsy B. Shaughnessy, MBA

St. John Medical Center

Michelle L. Cooper

Premiere Medical Resources

Sean P. McCarihan, CPA

QED Consulting

Craig Richmond, CPA

The MetroHealth System

Michael T. Stuewe

Kaiser Permanente

Richard C. Peplin, III

Cleveland State University

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Welcome Back!
HFMA Members that have reinstated their Membership

Brian L. Palmer

Cleveland Clinic

Gregory L. Palmer

Cleveland Health

Michael J. Tengeres

Cleveland Clinic Foundation

Mary C. De Frasia


Don J. Barrett, Jr.

AHC, Inc.

Brian S. Harbert

Aultman Health Foundation

Richard L. Marrapese, CPA

Ernst & Young LLC

Darren T. Mauch

Cleveland Clinic Foundation

Kimberly L. Pytlak

Village of Marymount

Lisa Y. Knowles-Ward

Forum Health

Carolyn Miclea

Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute

Dale Van Gorder


Richard S. Cooper

McDonald Hopkins LLC

Heather L. Wagner

University Hospital

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

Regional HFMA Gerry Haggerty Annual Leadership Institute
“Surviving Change”

Program Date: May 19-21, 2010
Program Location: Glenmoor Country Club, Canton, OH

Attracting healthcare finance professionals from the Great Lakes region and others, The Gerry Haggerty Annual Leadership Institute (GHALI) combines educational programming led by nationally and regionally recognized speakers. Moreover, GHALI provides opportunities to network with others in the industry. This year’s theme is “Surviving Change” and reflects the various presentations contained in the program.

Included in the conference are educational sessions led by healthcare industry leaders on a variety of pertinent topics; a Vendor Selection Criteria panel presentation; and vendor fair. Networking events include: golf at the Signature Jack Nicklaus Golf Course, Spa Services, Wine Tasting, Casino Night, and a Texas Hold’em Tournament. The Accountancy Board of Ohio has approved this conference for up to 18 hours of CPE, and the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) has approved up to 16 hours of CPE.


  • Matt Eirich – Managing Director, Advisory Board
  • Scott Bejak – Partner, BKD, LLP
  • Aaron D. Hershberger, CPA – Senior Manager, BKD, LLP
  • Kaliyah Shaheen, MPH - Ohio Department of Health
  • Susan R. Flaherty, CPA – Partner, Ernst & Young LLP
  • Dr.Richard Clarke, DHA, FHFMA – President & CEO, HFMA, Westchester, IL
  • Michael Sirohman – Special Agent, Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • Dr. Timothy McNight – Twin City Hospitals
  • Jim Sink and Gerry Hodson, RSM McGladrey
  • Melanie Elsey – Legislative Director, American Policy Roundtable
  • Charles Cateline – Senior Director of Health Policy, Ohio Hospital Association


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Program Recaps

Super PFS Program

First Presentation: A variety of pertinent and relevant topics to our healthcare industry today were discussed –they included:

  • Quality
  • Patient Access
  • Pricing
  • Patient Friendly Billing
  • Clinical Documentation
  • Audits
  • Collections

Key Points covered in presentation:

Panel discussion on Quality:

As the subject was framed by Marty Hauser, the present and future persists with added focus placed on not only transparency, but also quality and cost (value). In addition to these already challenging elements, there are mounting pressures on providers and payers by the patients as consumers, employers, and our government to collaborate and develop measures for the quality of care they are receiving for the dollars being spent. Our diverse panel of industry professionals discussed not only the quality initiatives that each of their organizations were taking, but also challenged the entire audience with thought-provoking questions or other topics that must be considered:

  • What approach should providers and payers take – lead uniform quality reporting measures or simply sit back and take a “wait and see” approach?
  • What collaboration is necessary to meet the new consumer and purchaser demands?
  • How can providers and payers bridge the gap between fee-for-service to new reimbursement models that are based on quality?

Unique approaches and considerations are being given by each entity and in varying ways – for instance:

  • As Dilys Krueger discussed, her hospital has undergone a transition to ISO9000 standards to help identify quality measures
  • Don Paulson discussed Payment System Redesign, essentially stating that if hospitals do not define quality, then ultimately it will mean just “payment” (and almost establishing it as a “commodity”)
  • Dr. Peter comments on three “disparate” concepts and/or points of consideration as well – they included: medical futility (rationing), demands, and the alignment of care with quality and needs.
  • Marty Hauser from SummaCare commented that the “role of government should be as a purchaser and being integrated, not a quality regulator.” He further pointed out that there are many quality organizations such as JACHO, CMS, NCQA, etc. – all with seemingly different venues, directions, and purpose (and little collaboration or organized effort). But in reality, it’s the consumer who decides what “quality” really is.

The “Quality” topic generated great discussion not only by the professional panel, but also with the audience as there was great participant interaction and commentary on the subject.

Panel discussion on Patient Access:

Dilys Krueger provided the audience with a general “evolution” on Patient Access and the key role it plays in a hospital’s success. Trends in Patient Access staff becoming Financial Assistance Specialists and Counselors is on the rise and prevalent in today’s environment. Just as our industry continues to evolve and advance technically, patients are now “consumers” and have changed their expectations as well. Therefore, as Dilys discussed, it is imperative that hospitals focus on enhancing the access experience and using technology available to help with this critical function, including:

  • Providing patients with means to schedule services online
  • Providing patients with the ability to “self-serve” – consumer “kiosks” and self check-in/registration portals
  • Providing hospital physicians with easy portal access to the scheduling system
  • Allowing consumers to make payments online

The bottom line, or at least one of many results, being a better ability to estimate costs – by both the provider and the consumer. However, as discussed by the panel and during audience interaction – the challenge is moving these key revenue cycle components normally considered on the “back-end” to the front-end, thereby creating a more efficient and effective Patient Access experience.

A couple of thought-provoking examples were provided to the audience to consider – ones that offered views on the challenges of this movement from back-end to front-end:

  • A recent published news story regarding a hospital that outsourced their medical records transcription service overseas, but wound up held “hostage” by one worker who threatened to release medical record information for blackmail money.
  • While enabling the ability to “ping” monthly credit card payments from patients, the security of transaction processing must be considered. Specifically, who is securing the data with all the technology and how confident are we that the data is fully secured?

Panel discussion on Pricing:

Charles Cataline spoke on healthcare pricing and the challenges associated with it. Specifically, Mr. Cataline spoke about the influences on setting charges – the government and third-party payers, uninsured/underinsured patient populations, and the general cost-shifting – and the subsequent implications for hospitals in both the public and patient relations sectors.

As Mr. Cataline commented, there are numerous challenges associated with the delicate area of pricing:

  • Communication to internal and external partners on pricing strategies
  • Price comparison between hospitals and providers, and the perception of price “discrimination” that essentially is created by patients and payers
  • The impact that charge-setting and pricing has on patient bills, particularly those with high deductible health plans

Ultimately, the pricing challenge being how providers can better realign their charges with actual resource use.

Panel discussion on Patient Friendly Billing:

Susan Milheim from Cleveland Clinic presented the audience with a general background on the research and efforts put into their nationwide initiative on Patient Friendly Billing. Results of numerous focus groups proved that not only is the patient bill confusing and costly, but that the billing process is also time-consuming and frustrating. Ultimately noting that the “needs of patients and family members should be paramount when designing administrative processes and communications.” Cleveland Clinic’s initiative (started in 2001 with a “phase 1” go-live in April 2010), shows that continuous improvements to the billing process were made and best practices established by incorporating patient and consumer feedback – such as a combining statements for the “Enterprise” (rather than multiple statements distributed by each region), consolidating customer service handling, and providing patients and consumers with easy online portals to manage their own accounts.

Panel discussion on Clinical Documentation:

Dr. Peter briefly discussed some of the current challenges surrounding clinical documentation and the impact of such documentation on the revenue cycle. Dr. Peter opened the topic by generally explaining how most physicians were taught to document in medical school versus the concept or methodology that “if you did not document it, it was not done”. The latter not being the prevalent discipline provided during medical school and thus the “pain” many administrative professional feel today.

Dr. Peter offered an interesting excerpt of opinion from “The Happy Hospitalist” blog which in summary states that physician focus has been misplaced from patient care focus to patient documentation – essentially in the author’s opinion, to appease lawyers, insurance companies and the government – and missing the most critical population of people, the patient.

Dr. Peter puts significant effort into facilitating relations and improving clinical documentation within his organizations, but understands that this is a challenging and “painful” area and one that requires a lead physician spokesperson to make progress over time. He has found success in his current positions and hospital organizations through the use of work groups consisting of diverse members/teams impacted that focus specifically clinical documentation and process improvements through learning and work-group collaboration for action.

Panel discussion on Audits:

Don Paulson presented a view on how audits have been administered by policies in the past and how they are managed today. Previously, audit scopes were predefined (not by surprise) and were scheduled in advance with providers. The scheduled audits were then conducted onsite and the subjective use of “appropriateness” was not even considered. Many providers followed the Medicare “way” and used their requirements as practice standards, versus the multiple standards being imposed today which create significant complexity for hospitals. The outcomes of past audits were limited to performance issues, were limited by use of clear and consistent billing rules to non-compliant activities, and overall costs were minimized for healthcare providers and payers.

The way of the past is no longer, as Mr. Paulson pointed out. With increased focus on audits (i.e. RAC, MIP, ZPIC, etc.), current practice amongst providers shows that not only do the charge and billing errors continue to exist, but CMS also publishes error rates amongst providers, and government payers are under growing pressures to contain costs due to funding deficits. Using University Hospitals as example, Don demonstrated the analyses his organization completed to determine their risk and error ratios by denial category type (i.e. not medically necessary, incorrect coding, etc.) and servicing areas. A look-back on eight years of data to review trends and gross and net financial impact was completed in effort to pull together internal strategies for process improvement and to mitigate ongoing risk.

With the exponential focus on audits, it may be perceived that it was less expensive to focus on retrospective denial audits rather than to collaborate with providers to correct process errors. Providers were mandated to comply with HIPAA transaction standards, yet payers were allowed to modify processes and add requirements with companion guides. Payer-specific edits are required for claims submission, but payment remittances do not use standard formats. Increased auditing bodies equates to increased workload and hospitals should look to and prepare for increasing associated costs, expanded payer audit focus and contract provisions, and expending additional resources just to manage the audit process rather than where they’d be more effectively applied – to process improvements.

Panel discussion on Collections:

Lissa Keck of Cleveland Clinic provided insight on what their organization is doing to improve front-end collections within the Pre-Access and Pre-Registrations areas. Moving into the future, Cleveland Clinic will be implementing up-front “cost estimators” – applications to proactively assist with insurance benefits verification and for co-insurance/deductible identification (and balances). These applications are not only expected to improve the front-end collections process, but they will also provide more visibility and coordinated efforts across all three areas and collections – medical appointment scheduling, Financial Counselor scheduling, and Vendor scheduling for the Medicaid screening application process – mitigating the need for subsequent repeated and costly follow-up.

Utilizing the Self-Pay Compass application, Cleveland Clinic plans to take their collection segmentation even further by instituting healthcare scorecards (credit, family size, and income history) and by using historical payment data to determine likelihood of payment for effective alignment of resource allocation. Just as front-end collection initiatives are underway, so are back-office initiatives. Utilizing the financial assessment data collected from Self-Pay Compass, “segment owners” will be assigned and updated follow-up and write off protocols will be established. Ultimately, resources will be maximized to improve collections where likelihood to pay is high, bad debt write offs will be accelerated (including sold).

Second Presentation:The Revenue Cycle University Initiative:Modern Techniques for Revenue Cycle Managers and Staff

Key Points Covered in the Presentation:

Brad Girsch from Zimmerman & Associates provided the attendees with an overview of his organization’s Revenue Cycle University product and the research and findings leading up to its development. One of the key components and critical success factors for Revenue Cycle teams continues to be the training and development of associates. As Mr. Girsch discussed, many times the delays and errors found throughout the revenue cycle process were often the result of training, or specifically the lack of training or training consistency. It is important for business offices to have processes in place to sustain the constantly changing environment (i.e. payer regulations, new systems, new health plans, etc.), but to also sustain the improvements put into place to address those changes – something Mr. Girsch referred to as “backsliding” (going back into the “way things were”). To address this ongoing issue, Revenue Cycle University was created and focuses on using talent development to drive net revenue results.

Mr. Girsch reviewed some of today’s common pitfalls associated with training and talent management:

  • Pitfalls related to strategy where little to no thought is given to comprehensive long-term plans nor is it tied to performance results desired
  • Pitfalls related to tools used – LMS systems alone cannot manage learner results and often times LMS systems are difficult to update easily with changing content
  • Educational opportunity pitfalls exist many times as they are only offered on a one-time basis, or there is heavy reliance on shadowing for learning with little interaction to engage participants

RCU’s approach consisted of:

  • Making people the hospital’s core business
  • Creating a culture of mindful learners
  • Process centric courseware
  • Documenting signature practices
  • Developing engaging and interactive content
  • Deploying 360-degree learning
  • Sustaining and growing gains for the long-term

Through a brief demonstration of the RCU tool, Mr. Girsch reinforced the impact that interactive and consequential training can have on positive net results – reduced errors, increased revenue, and improvement key performance metric results. As documented in Brad’s presentation, “RCU is a living, breathing approach to learning and knowledge management. Revenue cycle is a dynamic process, meaning it’s always changing so it is necessary to develop approaches that allow for real-time updates and evolution. While the Revenue Cycle University technology platform is an important enabler, it also requires a disciplined approach over the long haul.”

Additional Notes/Comments on Event:

  • This event was a huge success – not only was it a sell-out, but we had participants arrive for standing-room only!
  • 69% rated the morning’s session (Panel Discussion) as “Excellent” and 28% rated it as “Above Average” – that speaks volumes to the quality of the panel leaders and content!
  • Attendee feedback requests additional “panel-like” forums in the future or for next year’s event
  • For the first time ever, the entire event was video-taped and will be made available to all NEO HFMA members very soon!

Links to handouts:

Presentation #1

Presentation #2

Program Recaps

Healthcare 101 Summary

The well-attended, March 18th program: “Healthcare 101-Essential Knowledge for Healthcare Professionals,” proved to be a worthwhile and educational event for a wide variety of NEO HFMA members and non-member attendees. The event drew 157 to the DoubleTree® Cleveland South to hear industry experts present on five major healthcare topics including: Healthcare Accounting, Revenue Cycle, Credit Rating Process, Corporate Compliance/Ethics, and Medicare/Medicaid. Past HFMA Presidents were also recognized for their many contributions to our chapter. An energetic and informative Chief Financial Officer Roundtable followed these presentations. Networking over NCAA Basketball at Shula’s 2 brought the day to an entertaining close.

In the “Healthcare Accounting” presentation, Susan Flaherty (Partner,Ernst & Young) highlighted critical accounting policies impacting healthcare organizations, focusing on transparency for municipal-bond investors, not-for-profit mergers and acquisitions, fair value disclosures, Emerging Issues Task Force Issue (EITF) No. 09-H, and international financial reporting standards. In this presentation Susan emphasized the continuing trends toward transparency and growing similarities between for-profit and not-for-profit accounting and reporting requirements.

Speaking on the “Revenue Cycle,” Karen Mihalik (Senior Director PFS Financial Reporting, Cleveland Clinic) provided an overview of the necessary level of interconnectivity among the various pieces of Patient Financial Services. Karen emphasized a patient-first mentality, elimination of re-work, and measuring and reporting performance.

On the topic of the “Credit Rating Process,” Anne Marie Warren (Director, Keybanc Capital Markets) discussed the ways not-for-profit hospitals finance capital projects: cash reserves, cash flow, philanthropic support, and/or debt. Anne Marie emphasized the process an organization goes through to achieve a credit rating following the guidelines of the three national rating agencies: Fitch, Moody’s, and Standard & Poor’s. She also highlighted the typical rating process and the rating agency focus on the past, present and future profile of the organization (organizational structure, medical staff and labor, market information, utilization, financial, debt issuance) and provided an rating analyses for the attendees.

In his presentation of “Corporate Compliance/Ethics,” James Carnovale (CPA, Principal, Howard, Wershbale & Co) stressed the importance of setting the ethical tone from the leadership level for corporate compliance. James provided some historical dates in corporate compliance and ethics, a useful listing of resources and discussed what is new in corporate compliance (recovery audit contractors, Medicaid integrity contractors, mandatory programs, IT systems). After touching on the ways organizations can prepare, James closed his talk with an amusing quiz on the many acronyms of Corporate Compliance and Ethics.

Presenting on “Medicare/Medicaid,” John Taylor (Director of Reimbursement, University Hospitals) gave an informative summary of the history, purpose, and current legislation facing the Medicare and Medicaid programs.

Past HFMA Presidents were honored following lunch. Those past Presidents in attendance were invited to the stage to give a few words. Donald Long, Karen Mihalik, James Hutchinson and Chuck Josey each shared about the benefits of active involvement in the Northeast Ohio Chapter of HFMA.

Perhaps the highlight of the event, the CFO Roundtable featured three panelists: Steven Glass of Cleveland Clinic Health System, James Simone of EMH Regional Healthcare System, and Mark Wright of Aultman Health Foundation. Moderated by Craig Anderson, Sr. (Partner, Charis Healthcare), the CFO Roundtable discussion revolved around ten top healthcare trends: shrinking hospital margins, developing an outpatient mindset, declining physician income, hospital-physician alignment, healthcare reform, competing on quality, EHR as a strategic initiative, regional alignment and/or affiliation, hospital company vs. operating organization, and transformational leadership. Each CFO also responded to questions from the audience.

The informative presentations, authoritative speakers, and high turn-out combined to make the “Healthcare 101-Essential Knowledge for Healthcare Professionals” session a relevant and valuable day for all in attendance

Click here for event photos

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Educational Articles

Automated charity program cuts $1 million from uncompensated care

By Bruce Nelson, Vice President, SearchAmerica

Touchette Regional Hospital, with campuses in Centreville and East St. Louis, Ill., offers cardiopulmonary, laboratory, radiology, physical therapy, behavioral health and obstetric services; an oncology infusion clinic; a 24-hour emergency department; and an intensive care unit. It also provides inpatient and outpatient medical and surgical services.

As a safety net facility, Touchette Regional Hospital fulfills its mission of providing care within their medically indigent population. More than half of the patients served at Touchette are on Medicaid or are self-pay customers. However, they realized that if good systems were not in place to support the charity-care policy, their mission could be taken advantage of.

"We really had to balance providing good care in our community to those who need it and aren't able to pay for it, which is our mission, with performing a gate-keeping role to identify those who do have some type of ability to pay or have access to providers in their community," explains John Majchrzak, CHFP, CPA, MBA and Vice President of Finance at Touchette. Read More

Revenue Cycle Outsourcing – From No Way to A-Okay

Phil C. Solomon is the Chief Client Officer of UCB

In today's business environment, the Healthcare industry has been slower to adopt outsourcing strategies than mainstream industries. There is an emerging shift towards industry-wide acceptance of outsourcing as a core operational strategy. Gartner Research Inc. estimates healthcare executives spend about twenty percent of their budget on external sourcing options, compared to the general mainstream industries, which typically invest about a third of their budget on external sourcing. Gartner also estimates that seventy percent of healthcare organizations who do choose to outsource meet or exceed their cost-savings expectations, and most see an improvement in services as they shift their noncore functions to experts. Read More…

Know Your Patients, Not Just Their Insurance

Author: Rich Racioppi, Regional Sales Manager, SearchAmerica

In the past years, patients have seen their healthcare deductibles increasing. Patients are feeling more financial strain to meet their commitments, and hospitals are often challenged on how to best collect on their accounts. This problem becomes even more severe if the patient’s care is a result of an unplanned diagnosis or trauma.

Consumer healthcare costs for insurance premiums are also increasing, even when employers are absorbing some of its impact. In response, hundreds of thousands of individuals are signing up for a Healthcare Savings Account (HSA).
Read More…

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Kudos to You!
By Jack Bailey

Congratulations to Tammy Zografos on her promotion to Assistant Vice President, Credit Balances at AIM HealthCare, an Ingenix Company. Tammy has been with AIM since 1999 and previously served as National Director.

Congratulations to Jill Hiner on her promotion to VP of Finance, CFO, for Summa Western Reserve Hospital.

Kudos to Jeffry A. Myers, Chief Operating Officer at The Village at Marymount, who recently became a licensed nursing home administrator.

Congratulations Christina Burr on her promotion to Director of Finance at Aultman Health Foundation.

Kudos to JP Recovery Services, Inc on their annual Red Cross blood drive. Their efforts impacted local, national, and world wide needs, including the Haiti relief effort. Thank you to those who donated.

Congratulations to Susan E. Vizmeg of Ernst & Young. She successfully recruited 4 new members from E & Y: Maddie Hanna, Jen Meyer, Jennifer Minne and Julia Zeleznikar. Susan has won a free education seminar. Thank you for promoting the value of HFMA and sharing with your co-workers!

Kudos to Phillip Thorne – He has accepted a position with BH Solutions Group as Director of Business Development & Recruiting.

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A pound of apples and a pound of bananas cost $3.65, a pound of bananas and a pound of cherries cost $4.95, and a pound of apples and a pound of cherries cost $6.10.

What is the price per pound of each fruit?

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


The letter “Z”.

Jeanne-Anne Hillman of Cleveland Clinic won a $25 gift card.

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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 Corp.
Howard, Wershbale & Co.
Platinum Club

Alta Partners LLC
Joseph R Harrison Co., LPA
HRSI/FirstCredit International Corp
JP Recovery Services
RSM McGladrey
Total Practice Management

Gold Club

Squire, Sanders & Dempsey LLP

Silver Club

Fenner Consulting
The ROI Companies

Bronze Club

ARC Group Associates
Bruner Cox, LLP
Calfee, Halter & Griswold LLP
Emrhein & Associates
HMC Group
KeyBanc Capital Markets
Masters Assoc Receivables Mgmt, Inc.
Quadax, Inc.
UCB, Inc.
Wise Management Services Inc.

HFMA Northeast Ohio
Chapter Officers

Anna Sulewski

Michael J. Manful

Vice President
Susan R. Flaherty

Chapter Secretary/Treasurer
Susan Tschetter


Charles S. Josey

Chapter Coordinator
Kathleen A. Much

Board of Directors
Daniel Hardwick
Richard M. Jorz
Diane Lilko
Theodore E. Reddy
Stephen E. Rybka
Claudio Zanin

Visit HFMA National at:

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