Survey: Reform changes should be top priority but aren't

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Healthcare reform changes, including accountable care partnerships, should be the top priority for the healthcare finance industry, according to the results of a survey conducted at the recent Healthcare Finance Management Association National Institute conference held in Las Vegas.

However, despite 43 percent of respondents naming healthcare reform changes as what should be the top priority for the industry, only 22 percent said it was the top priority for their organization. Plus, only 56 percent agreed that a strong accountable care organization network will curtail spending, improving the bottom lines of clinics and hospitals.

“The priorities for the industry as a whole differ from the current priorities of individual organizations right now,” said Mitzi Winters, president and CEO, Global Healthcare Solutions, Firstsource, who conducted the survey. “This, coupled with financial system overhauls, is creating an extremely complex environment for healthcare finance executives to navigate. Healthcare reform changes have taken precedence and ICD-10 conversions have been put on the back burner for the time being.”

In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision on the healthcare reform law, 27 percent of executives surveyed said technological solutions that simplify financial and administrative processes should be the top priority under healthcare reform, while 24 percent named working on their IT infrastructure, readying themselves to participate in health information exchanges.

More than one-quarter (28 percent) of respondents indicated meaningful use mandates were the top priority for their organization, followed by clinical and financial system conversions (27 percent). Only 3 percent of respondents said conversion to ICD-10 was currently a top priority for their organization. More than half (53 percent) said that their organization was undergoing a technology overhaul of their financial system due to EHR adoption.

Respondents also noted the benefits of social media with more than two-thirds (69 percent) agreeing that it is relevant to a hospital’s financial operation.