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Transforming Financial Performance-Expert Advice and Guidance on Hospital Revenue Optimization From a CFO [PODCAST]

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In this episode, Garrick Stoldt, Chief Financial Officer at Saint Peter’s Healthcare System, discusses Transforming Financial Performance–Expert Advice and Guidance on Hospital Revenue Optimization From a CFO.

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Highlights of this episode include:

  • Evolution of revenue cycle for hospitals and healthcare
  • How CFOs are leveraging data analytics and technology to drive financial performance
  • How CFOs and hospitals balance the need for cost containment
  • Steps finance leaders in hospitals are taking to address workforce challenges
  • Collaboration with other healthcare stakeholders
  • Advancements in technologies – AI

Kelly Wisness: Hi, this is Kelly Wisness. Welcome back to the award-winning Hospital Finance Podcast. We’re pleased to welcome Garrick Stoldt. Garrick has been in the healthcare industry for over 40 years. He started as a regulator working for New Jersey Blue Cross under its Medicare contract, then as an auditor and consultant for large accounting firms. Since then, he worked as chief financial officer for several hospitals and health systems before coming to Saint Peter’s Healthcare System in 2005. Garrick is well known in the New Jersey Healthcare Marketplace for his educational presentations to various groups, including the HFMA, Modern Healthcare, New Jersey Hospital Association, and others. He’s been a member of the HFMA since 1982, was a board member for 14 years, and is past president of the New Jersey Chapter. Garrick was honored by the New Jersey Chapter of the HFMA with the Medal of Honor in 2001 for Lifetime Achievement. He currently teaches at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University. Garrick graduated from New Jersey City University with a degree in economics. In this episode, we’re discussing Transforming Financial Performance–Expert Advice and Guidance on Hospital Revenue Optimization From a CFO. Thank you for joining us today, Garrick.

Garrick Stoldt: Kelly, thanks for having me today. I’m really honored that you asked me to talk today.

Kelly: Of course. Well, let’s jump in. So, Garrick, how do you anticipate the revenue cycle for hospitals and healthcare will evolve in 2024 and beyond?

Garrick: Well, I think, today, if hospitals are not looking at re-engineering their revenue cycle with all of the challenges that have been put before us by managed care organizations, then they’re going to be very much behind. Over the last couple years, at the assistance of our CEO to have an independent look at our revenue cycle, we came up with some minor tweaks, but basically a very solid operation. However, in the last two years, managed care companies have substantially increased their types of denials and many of the different avenues of being able to deny care, both at the facility, hospital level, as well as at the physician level. Our current revenue cycle was never set up to handle the level of denials that we’re receiving now, not even close. And so we need to be retooling ourselves to address this onslaught. I look at it in some cases that the managed care companies are actually almost creating a theft of services. And it’s across everybody. It’s all the major payers as well as the managed Medicare and managed Medicaid business. Every one of them is doing things that I consider to be egregious and are underpaying or not paying for services that is being rendered. And so, we need to retool. I’ll give you some examples.

In our 2024 budget, we’ve increased the staff for utilization management because we need to have more peer-to-peer between our physician advisors, which the utilization nurses help, to get some more payers to try and avoid a denial before it actually becomes one. And peer-to-peer is an excellent way to do that, but you need the staff and coordination of staff to make that happen. We’ve added people in our revenue cycle in the patient accounting area to do more with the recording of denials, because not everything comes in on an 835, which is the electronic file we get from the payer, which gives the payment information as well as the denial information. So, you would think that everything is electronic today, but they still deal with paper. They deal with other– they outsource some people, some companies to do the review on cases. And therefore, they’re looking at cases two and three times. And some of that’s done on paper and not through an 835 transaction. So, you need to have the staff to coordinate and then do the analytics, a lot more analytics that needs to be involved to see the trends, to try and react to things before they become a major element in the fight against denials. So, we’re in a whole other world.

If you look at the margin suppression that’s taken place around the country, and as a matter of fact, there were two rating agencies, Moody’s and S&P have already downgraded, and they were very negative on the healthcare industry in 2024. And part of that is the revenue cycle and the denials by the payers growing so substantially. The other is obviously the workforce issue that has caused us to pay so much more for agency use over time. Although that is improving, the denial side is not improving at all. It’s actually getting worse. And it seems to be once things lightened up during the pandemic, and as we’re getting out of the pandemic, that’s when the payers started to ratchet up their different types of denials. And most revenue cycles do not have the staff to manage that onslaught and therefore need to retool. Not saying they have bad shops out there, but even if you have a really good shop, like we’ve been proving to have a really good shop, we still didn’t have the resources appropriately to manage this onslaught. The revenue loss has been significant. As a matter of fact, we’ve petitioned the Hospital Association to start getting involved in awareness to our politicians. I think in addition to individually fighting the denials and the processes that the payers are using, that we also need to have advocacy at the legislative level to try and curb some of these egregious policies by payers.

Kelly: Wow. Those are some interesting insights there. So how are CFOs leveraging data analytics and technology to drive financial performance and operational efficiency in hospitals?

Garrick: Well, this has been going on for a while. There isn’t a payer we have that we are not involved in some way in a pay-for-performance metric or metrics in order to achieve more reimbursement from a payer, whether it’s episodes of care. And we use a lot of statistical analytics in those metrics. And we tie a lot of our clinical people. I talk at our manager’s meeting regularly, and it used to be that clinical people said, “I handle the clinical, you handle the financials, and never the twain shall meet.” Well, the twain has met, and we are meeting regularly because a lot of our metrics are clinical metric driven. And therefore, in order to achieve a pay-for-performance metric that will give us more reimbursement or improve on an episode of care, clinical people have to be involved in what the goals are to make sure we achieve them. So, we are doing a lot of data analytics. And if you’re really interested about things like quality, and quality is what’s really driving a good amount of the metrics that go into the reimbursement, then you’re going to have a lot of data every day of what’s happening. We actually have an email that goes out very early in the morning if we have a central line infection or a urinary tract infection or a MRSA case, and if we’re digging into a deep dive, if it happens, the day it happens or the next day after it happens. And we’re using data analytics to look at our trend lines so that we can stay a high-quality hospital. And that will go to not just the reimbursement of pay for performance, but also in things like Leapfrog scores and other types of independent view of quality that’s out there for the public to see. It’s a public perception issue as well as a reimbursement issue. So, there’s a lot of data analytics.

We used data analytics when the COVID came about. We were able to use data analytics to identify hotspots or identify where the hotspots are most likely to happen. So, we did proactive measures to give information out in those communities to provide PPE and education materials so that would lower the spread of COVID more than it would be otherwise. So, it’s getting used a lot already, and it’s getting used even more. And it’s not just financial; it’s also clinical driven. So, we’re into it. We also use specialty software to manage the physician practices, not just on their quality outcomes, but on their cost, identify which patients are higher cost. And usually, you can’t do it on a broad spectrum, but you identify two or three disease states in which a practice happens to have a significant amount of patients. And you will then use those analytics to identify what are the things driving up that cost to drive it down. That goes into our payer contracts as well in terms of those metrics for performance. So there’s a lot of– like I said, the clinical and financial are now melded together, unlike any time before. And there isn’t a contract we have that doesn’t have some sort of metric from usually a quality perspective that will lead to more reimbursement or lack of reimbursement if we don’t achieve our goals.

Kelly: It makes a lot of sense. So how do CFOs and hospitals balance the need for cost containment with providing quality patient care and maintaining high patient satisfaction?

Garrick: Well, I have to tell you that we’ve been involved since– I think we started our initiative back in 2007 in order to improve our patient satisfaction scores. Like I said, we’ve got to find better ways to improve patient satisfaction scores. And we’ve always been a high quality-driven hospital. We’ve been Magnet since Magnet’s been created, and we won’t do any cost initiative if it has a negative impact on patient satisfaction or quality. We feel they go hand in hand. And oh, yes, we can improve our bottom line, but we believe also the reputational harm of reducing in quality. Or we’re in a highly competitive environment, and if our patient satisfaction scores aren’t high, our competitors will take business from us. It’s been proven many times that patient satisfaction and volume go together. If you start losing on your scores on patient satisfaction, it means you have people walking away from your organization with a negative outlook. And that could lead to not getting patients in the future or losing potential patients. For every 10 patients that come in the door and have a good experience, only one will say something about it. But for every patient that comes in the door, the next 10 patients that have a negative outcome, 9 out of 10 will tell somebody if you had a negative outcome. So, it has a deleterious effect on your volume over time if you don’t maintain high patient satisfaction. You don’t see it in the bottom line, but you will see it in the trend line over time and where your volume is. So, whether it’s a patient coming through the ED or coming to your office practices that you manage or coming into the hospital for an outpatient or for a procedure and admission, patient satisfaction is key. And no one’s going to go into a place that doesn’t have quality, recognized as quality.

You can see that around the state and around the country, the metrics for things like Leapfrog is growing dramatically, and the fact that the thresholds in order to get a good score are going up, which means all hospitals, or most hospitals are working to improve their quality scores. So as everybody improves, the benchmarks get harder to meet. And so, if you’re spending money to save money, that’s going to be against you over time. And now, with pay for performance and all the contracts, it’s going to innately affect you on revenue, too. You don’t have to wait for the volume to drop to see the revenue loss when you’re not earning your pay for performance or episodes of care type of reimbursement. So, there isn’t a balancing act. You shouldn’t be doing things that are going to reduce quality or patient satisfaction. The environment doesn’t allow it. Years ago, 10 years ago, you probably could do cost containment and say, “Aw, don’t worry about the patient satisfaction scores.” You can’t ignore that anymore. The world has changed in that regard.

Kelly: That is very true, and it’s nice to hear the focus on high patient satisfaction as well.

Garrick: We’re actually almost anal on it [laughter] in the fact that we actually track daily many of the metrics that we need because it has to be front of mind. Running a hospital is not easy. And in order to have high quality scores, that means that the entire team has to be dedicated to it. That means the nursing staff, that means the physicians, that means the specialists, that means the support staff all have to be working in regard. And to keep everybody focused is much more complicated than a production line in a manufacturing plant.

Kelly: Oh, I bet, and there’s more at stake, [laughter] right?

Garrick: Exactly. Exactly.

Kelly: Right. So what steps are finance leaders in hospitals taking to address workforce challenges such as recruitment, retention, and talent development in finance departments?

Garrick: I would say the first thing is that you have to be aware of employee engagement. When I say employee engagement, we do surveys every two years across the entire house, both clinical and non-clinical areas, to measure how engaged our staff, our managers are, and the perceptions of staff management, senior management. And so, there are benchmarks out there to see. And they usually break them up into three categories. Highly engaged employees with high respect for management. Medium, you have a lot of people engaged, but not everybody. You have some areas for improvement. And then I have departments that are not heavily engaged, and their management doesn’t score very well. And once you have those metrics, you can start putting game plans in place to improve that engagement. That improvement and engagement will lower your turnover, barring other issues out there, and I’ll get to what that key issue is. But when you can identify the areas where employees are low engaged, they don’t feel like they have a say in operations and don’t feel like they’re adequately considered, that’s where you see most of your turnover is. Now, you also have turnover with retirement. You’re not going to eliminate all turnover, but you’re going to reduce the amount of turnover dramatically. Saint Peter’s is known for years and years as having one of the lowest turnover rates for its professional staff that you will find anywhere. That changed when the pandemic hit, and you started to see huge increases in salaries. We’re a mile from a hospital that pays the highest rate for nursing in the state, and we were able to compete on nursing on a regular basis and never pay at that level because of the culture we’ve created and the high level of employee engagement that they don’t get, these staff wouldn’t get in other organizations. Part of that’s being Magnet; part of that’s the high level of quality that we try to maintain here.

And we have a high level of engagement across all levels. So that engagement leads to retention. And the retention is the biggest issue right now because we’re all dealing with the problem now that the people are coming up, whether it’s nursing or lab techs or respiratory techs, which is probably the worst of all, much worse than nursing in terms of number of professionals out there, but across all spectrums. Back during the pandemic, our patient financial services department had a 25% turnover rate. Unheard of. We would have about 10%, which is normal attrition, people moving away and retiring. And it all had to do with compensation. When you start giving people huge– usually, it’s 10%. If you’re within 10% of what your competition’s paying, and you have a great culture, you can retain your people to a large degree. Not everybody, but most. Not everyone’s looking for the dollar. They want the work experience. They want the work-life balance. And if you don’t provide that– and the flexibility to work from home. One of the biggest discussions we have here at Saint Peter’s has been, “Should everybody be back, or should we continue to have flexible staffing to let people work from home several days a week and work in the office?” And so, we’ve maintained that, even though there are some people that say they should be in all the time. But given the competitiveness in the workforce right now, you need to have that flexibility. Work-life balance is a real issue. And not everybody’s looking for the biggest dollar, but they’re looking for a good work experience to go along with a work-life balance. And you need to have that, because ultimately, it’s the retention that will stabilize your workforce. We’re going to be needing nurses for a long time, and the nursing schools out there, they’re not increasing their enrollment very much, and not because they don’t want to. They’d love to have more.

I think we did speak to people at Rutgers. I think they had to turn away 1,400 nursing application students, not because they weren’t qualified. These were the qualified ones. But they don’t have enough professors. They don’t have enough professors in the pipeline to increase the enrollment. So, they’ve got to increase the professors first in order to be able to increase the pipeline of more nurses to come out. And that’s happening in other areas. There’s only one school producing respiratory therapy. And this is a basket case because they’re not going to– if they double their number of faculty, they still won’t be able to produce anywhere what’s needed. We’re re-engineering the entire respiratory. We now have nurses specializing in respiratory to take on the responsibilities of some of the respiratory therapists. We’ve added support staff in respiratory to do some functions, to do the real respiratory care elements of care, to the ones trained in respiratory and all the grunt work that’s not– when I say grunt work, it’s really the non-technical aspects so that they can be more productive and see more patients. But we’re having RNs doing respiratory therapy work now because I can get RNs easier than I can get a respiratory therapist. And the price differential, which is really the amazing thing, the difference between what we pay a nurse versus what we pay an agency nurse is the same dollar amount between what we pay a respiratory therapist versus a temporary health worker. So, it’s even worse than respiratory. And so, the only way is to redefine the job and now have nurses doing it. And it sounds really strange, one of the nurses doing respiratory therapy work, but before we had the specialty of respiratory care, nurses did all the respiratory care work. It was in their–it was part of their training in their training programs to become a nurse. So, it’s a combination of flexibility, changing in dynamics.

We just rolled out today, rolled out a program to allow all of our unskilled and low-education staff on a program to pay for their tuition 100% and to give them a glide path to move from the lowest paid people in the organization to technical skilled training to be at higher levels of medical assistance and others. So, they have a career path, something that they would never think of on their own. But there are barriers to doing that. Now, what are we really doing? We’re bastardizing our workforce. We’re taking the lowest paid and least trained and educated to move them up to being better educated and to be able to take on more responsibilities and create a career path where there was no career path. And so, we’re taking them from the– we can get untrained skilled workers, and we will always be able to get untrained, unskilled workers and be able to bring them into the workforce. That’s the easy part, getting them to become higher trained and higher educated. And the education reimbursement is not just– it’s high school education, it’s skills training, it’s any type of education skill that they needed. It’s an undergraduate degree, and in some cases, even a master’s degree, we’re paying for 100%. So, the dollars, that would usually be an impediment. If you’re a worker, and you’re getting– I think the minimum wage for us now is $17 an hour. I know the state’s a little bit lower, but we’ve been moving up our minimum wage. $17 an hour is not going to do more than maybe put up a roof over your head and pay for food. It’s not going to pay for education. So that’s not even in the thought process of a person at the lower end of the pay scale. But if we take away the economic barriers to education and training, a lot of those people will take advantage of it to move up, to get a better paying job, and to get a career path that wasn’t even a possibility without taking away those barriers.

So, we have to be more creative. So, we’re doing a number of things to create the talent pool to be more. We’re going to be in the talent pool problem for a far longer time than anyone wants to predict. And that’s because of the problem that we have in the demographics of this country. And many of the other industrialized countries in the world, they have far more people moving into the retirement stage and no longer active workers than they have as active workers that are in their 50s and 60s, which is your workforce that’s the most educated, high-value people that bring more to the– we’re losing those people. And so, there’s less of that even at the younger stages. Fortunately, we do have mechanisms, in the case of the U.S., ways to help mitigate some of that. But you look at places like China where it’s worse. The drop-off between the number retired and the numbers that are working is so dramatic. And because of their one birth policy, one child policy, they are at the lowest birth rate to replace. They’re expecting within the next 30 years to be down hundreds of millions of people less population than where they are right now. We’re not in that bad a situation, but we’re in a better way to transition. Some of that is to change how we work and what workers we need for what we do. And that’s going to be changing over time. But the whole issue of retention and recruitment, we’ve just– and simple things on recruitment. The time to recruit an employee to actually giving them an offer has dropped from weeks to only a day or two. And so we’ve done a lot on the front end to make the recruitment process offers and acceptance a lot faster. But it’s the retention ultimately is the linchpin to being able to retain workers and talented workers over a period of time.

Kelly: Yeah. Totally agree with that. I mean, it sounds like you all have put together a really great program and are really trying to put some initiatives in place to help your workforce there. And I think we’re seeing things that none of us really planned on. And I agree with you. I think the workforce is changed for the future, and we have to put together some great programs to do what we can to keep moving our businesses forward.

Garrick: Yeah. We have to be thinking a lot more creatively than we have in the past.

Kelly: Agree. Yes, totally. So how are CFOs and hospitals collaborating with other healthcare stakeholders, such as physicians and administrators, to drive financial and operational alignment?

Garrick: Well, there’s been a lot going on there. I can talk to the Saint Peter’s experience. We’ve done a lot with some of our key stakeholders and physicians in the community. We’ve done a number of collaborations with our medical oncology group. It’s more than the medical oncology group. There were also radiation oncologists, and providing other types of specialty care in the cancer program. We’ve done a lot of coordination with them. We’re just a block from the Cancer Institute. But we do a lot of collaboration with our physicians because we’re able to be more nimble, and our decision-making is much faster. To be able to coordinate with physicians, you have to be able to be nimble and hear them out. We spend a lot of time listening to our physicians. We do the same thing for our physicians, so both our employed and our community physicians because we’re kind of a hybrid. We employ a couple hundred physicians and providers, and we also have quite a big medical staff that works at multiple places. And so, we’re collaborating with them. We do physician engagement surveys as well to identify where our weak spots are and how we can improve our relationship. And we’ve been tracking that. And our engagement scores are getting better and better as we go along. And yet, we also have information on a national basis, and the exact opposite is happening. Actually, the engagement with physicians and the health systems they work within has been a declining thing, which I’m kind of surprised at because we have to work together. If we’re going to have good quality outcomes, then we have to be working collaboratively.

It used to be when I first got into the industry a long time ago, they used to talk about white coats and black suits. The black suits were the administrators, and white coats were the doctors. And it was almost like a natural antagonism and fight between them. They’re looking at their vested interest in how they manage their practices, what they can do, and not looking at what’s best interest for the hospital. Now, knowing the fact that how quality is so important, there was a lot more collaboration with the attending physician staff and administration and other elements within the administration, with all the different management elements within health systems to collaborate, to have better outcomes, both for the facility as well as for the physician. Because the physicians are in the same boat of managing quality, and they want to be tied to institutions that are known for quality. So, now we’re more aligned on the quality perspective, physicians and hospitals, than ever before. And so that collaboration needs to continue. We’ve done it with other specialties as well. We’ve done it with thoracic surgery and a few other areas where we’ve stepped up our game in collaborating with physicians. And we’re not done. There are other areas that we’re looking at doing it as well, so. And all of those are leading to better quality outcomes and a greater market share, which is one of our biggest goals. You’re not really looking at volume now because a lot of things have moved to outpatient, but what you really want to see in growth is an increase in market share. And that’s really what we’re looking at here, ultimately.

Kelly: Right. I mean, alignment and collaboration are certainly keys to success now. How are advancements in technologies, such as AI, which we hear all the time about, and automation, how are they expected to revolutionize the revenue cycle for hospitals and healthcare?

Garrick: Well, it’s already starting. We have a goal already right now of instituting in certain specific areas machine learning to take over employee functions. We’re doing it in a couple of areas in the revenue cycle. Right now, we’re implementing it. My prediction is in the next five years, over 20% of the revenue cycle would be done through automated learning, basically bots doing the work of what people were doing before. Now, do I see a big downturn in employment? Not really, not at least for our employees, because the turnover rate is still higher than we had normally. We can redeploy the people that lose a job to a machine learning bot to do other functions that we need to hire for. The training, the unskilled workforce is the only thing that’s really growing in the U.S. Trained workforce is not. And therefore, people that we’ve had employed and trained, they are worth much more to us than ever before. So, we don’t want to lose anybody. We don’t want to let anybody go because of machine learning. We want to redeploy them because of their skill sets they already have and leverage off those skill sets and the knowledge of the institution. So, it’s happening. We’re also looking at it in some other areas. I would suspect that we’ll start to see it in clinical areas in the not-too-distant future, specifically with AI. But there is some hesitancy. I know that ChatGPT is out there, and I know that we have banned it, and many other healthcare organizations have banned it because there’s a dark side to ChatGPT. They can produce documents that look like they’re legitimate, but aren’t and aren’t factually accurate, so. But we haven’t eliminated completely because there is some functionality to that.

I was at a conference a year ago at hospital in the Midwest, a small community hospital in the Midwest, which a lot of their margin is based on grants and grant writing. And they had a team of three people, and they’re able to produce so many grants a year. And they started to change and use ChatGPT for their grant writing. And within a year, they were able to quadruple their number of grant applications with less staff and more than quadruple the amount of revenue coming in for the grants that they wrote on. So, a huge success story, but it’s not clinical application. It’s grant writing for acceptance of potential projects to grow your organization. So, I think there is a place for things like ChatGPT, but I think it’s a way off before it’ll be done in clinical areas. But AI, a number of the big companies are using AI already to try and take on elements of the healthcare system. All of them, you name the big company, Amazon, Google, they’ve all had AI interventions to create products. I will also tell you they have tons of money. That doesn’t mean that they’re successful. I think they fail on 9 out of every 10 projects they put out there, but the one that succeeds pays for all the others that they fail. But they’ve got the capital to burn to keep on going on and creating new products out there to try and chip away at the portions of the healthcare market. They’re not about to go into run hospitals, but they want to take on as much of the outside effort that they can. So, there’ll be a lot of technology advancements. We have to internally– in the healthcare industry that provides real healthcare, we have to be using those tools as well.

A bot, you don’t have to pay employee benefits, and you don’t have to pay them more every year and raises as long as you’re maintaining. So, it’s a way to control the workforce in a way that you keep your high-skilled people, and the people you have are higher skill levels and not to lose anybody. I don’t want to fire a single person because of automation. I don’t think we have to. Because of the aging workforce, our workforce will have natural attrition that we need to deal with. And I think artificial intelligence and bot and automation learning will be the tools to keep us well-staffed to do all the functions we need to, because we won’t have as big a workforce as we had in the past.

Kelly: Yeah. I completely agree. It’s exciting times, but also scary in some ways as well.

Garrick: That’s right.

Kelly: Yes. So how can hospitals integrate revenue cycle management with population health management initiatives to improve financial sustainability and patient outcomes?

Garrick: Well, a lot of it that we have, and many hospitals that I have, and physician groups are in ACOs. And ACOs, they really set a lot of the benchmarks for quality and performance. And so, population health is part of that now. And we use software right now specifically to track. The one thing that’s disappointing– because a lot of the population health really right now is focused on the underserved population, which is where the greatest need is. And right now, only one of the Medicaid-managed care plans actually give an incentive to even collect the data on population health and the social determinants component of it. And usually, when there’s no money, there’s very little effort going on to improve it. But most health systems have put a pretty big investment in population, and we’re no different. We’ve added resources specifically on population health to focus in on the diseased states that we’re all dealing with that are creating the highest level of cost. So, there is already an integration of getting the data and then using the data in a way that’s meaningful. Because right now, we’re still potentially in just the data gathering element of it, not how do we start using it effectively? I’ll give you an example. One of the largest needs we have, we run a family health center, which is analogous to an FQHC, which is a federally-qualified health center, and food insecurity, one of the biggest issues. And there are a number of farmers’ markets and markets for the underserved population to get fruits and vegetables, but grossly underutilized.

So, we have just expanded our family health center by about 60% of more exam rooms in pediatrics, OB, and peds, pediatrics. And so, we put in a food pantry to deal with the population, both for the need for the food insecurity, and also to help our biggest adult clinic. Diabetes is the number-one illness. And so, educating and providing foods that will help diabetics to control their A1C, it’s helping all three programs, peds, OB, and internal medicine. So, we’re trying to create the solutions that will help with some of the elements of population health and social determinants. The data helps us to identify the patient base, rather, so that our workforce can actually react to it as part of their visits. That by itself is meaningless unless you have actionable data. And what we’re really working on now is having actionable data for the office practices, as well as for the locations where services are provided, to expand the access for our patient population to actually get somewhere and have some real meaningful improvement. And not just the fact that, okay, we now know that 40% of our patient population that goes to family health center has food insecurities; let’s get an answer to that food insecurity or provide one of the answers to that. It goes a long way in terms of building up patient trust because there’s a natural distrust for a population that’s underserved for a whole host of reasons. But when you can build up trust of a population that’s very untrusting of the healthcare industry, that goes a long way for them to now be open to suggestions as to how to improve their health.

Kelly: It definitely does. Yeah. Those sound like some really great programs, Garrick. Well, we really appreciate you joining us today and for sharing your insights on Transforming Financial Performance–Expert Advice and Guidance on Hospital Revenue Optimization From a CFO. We really appreciate you being here with us today.

Garrick: Thank you. Thank you for having me.

Kelly: And if a listener wants to learn more or contact you to discuss this topic further, how best can they do that?

Garrick: They can email me directly at gstoldt, S-T-O-L-D-T, @saintpetersuh.com. That’s spelled out S-A-I-N-T-P-E-T-E-R-S-U-H.com.

Kelly: That’s great. Thank you for sharing that. And thank you all for joining us for this episode of The Hospital Finance Podcast. Until next time…

[music] This concludes today’s episode of the Hospital Finance Podcast. For show notes and additional resources to help you protect and enhance revenue at your hospital, visit besler.com/podcasts. The Hospital Finance Podcast is a production of BESLER | SMART ABOUT REVENUE, TENACIOUS ABOUT RESULTS.

 

If you have a topic that you’d like us to discuss on the Hospital Finance podcast or if you’d like to be a guest, drop us a line at update@besler.com.

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