5 heartbreakers for hospital CFOs

On Valentine’s Day, it’s either joy or heartbreak – and for CFOs of hospitals, it’s no different.

John McCarthy, general manager of asset management at GE Healthcare, consults CFOs nationwide and has witnessed the heartbreak of CFOs. Here, McCarthy outlines the heartbreak he’s seen first hand.

1. “You just don’t love me anymore.”

There are millions of dollars of underutilized assets at hospitals, McCarthy said. Due to workflow issues and no real, data-driven way to know how technology is being used, many hospitals may not know exactly how efficiently clinical assets are being used, and in effect, the millions spent on all that underutilized equipment, are being wasted. To add insult to injury, the lack of knowledge of how technology is being used can lead to heartbreak number two: overcompensation.


2. Overcompensation

According to McCarthy, hospitals are over-purchasing equipment during capital planning. Because hospitals aren’t getting a handle on how clinical assets are being used, when they receive feedback from staff and physicians that there is not enough equipment, for example, executive teams spend the money to buy more and more units. In some cases, McCarthy said, new equipment does not need to be purchased at all.


3. “I’m not being seen for all I do!”

When assets are not being used to their full potential for patient care, revenue is being left on the table, McCarthy said. If a CT scanner can be used more efficiently, more scans can be conducted and more patients can be seen. When productivity issues with clinical assets are not addressed, hospitals miss out on capturing those revenue opportunities. CFOs can start to fix this heartbreaker by taking a close look at hours of use and utilization rates, McCarthy said. If there are two CT scanners being used only half of the time or at odd hours, adjustments can be made to increase their productivity, such as adding more patients from other service lines.


4. “Don’t look elsewhere when the going gets tough.”