Executive Health Administration

The Changing Role of Healthcare CFOs

[fa icon="calendar'] Dec 28, 2015 7:30:00 AM / by Anna Montgomery, MPA


Becker Hospital Review recently published one of many articles that emphasize the changing role of healthcare CFOs. The infographic below explores what changes are occurring and how CFOs roles are transforming from number crunching to strategic engagement and financial leadership.


The role of hospital and health system CFO is evolving to encompass far more than crunching numbers. Healthcare finance chiefs are taking on more strategic roles that require a combination of analytical skills and people skills. The shift in the CFO role is clear, with 52 percent of CFOs, including those from hospitals and health systems, spending more time on strategic issues, according to the Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2015 CFO Outlook survey

Read the source article at Becker Hospital Review.

Here’s what other experts have to say about the healthcare CFO of the future:

  • “We’re in a major transformation, because the business model is,” says Kathy Hanley, CFO for ProMedica, based in Toledo, Ohio. Hospitals and Health Networks® 

  • "That is what separates the more progressive finance leaders in this new environment – those that can be more strategically minded and have a greater understanding of the day-to-day operations, and how finance is tied to that, and also be a strong collaborator and strategic financial partner to the CEO," Esselman said. Healthcare Finance

  • "For a CFO or controller or VP of finance it really starts with the wisdom and courage to reconceptualize the role and pursue a more strategic place in the organization," Sheahan said. "With this much change taking place, we need to rethink the financial management role." Fierce Health Finance

  • “More time is spent dealing directly with physicians and CFOs need to strike a greater partnership with clinical leaders in order to develop strategic plans and reduce costs, while gaining an understanding of what drives profitability.” Varo Healthcare

  • “CFOs increasingly contribute to organizational strategy, and are meeting unprecedented demand for their unique perspective and discipline. The necessity of controlling cost, managing risk and maintaining liquidity were brought to the foreground by the financial crisis — and this necessity persists.” EY Report

  • “CFOs expect to dedicate more time to activities aligned with growing and protecting their companies. From sales to risk management, healthcare costs to employee retention programs, they are leveraging their broad base of knowledge to influence decisions across their company.” Bank of America Industry Outlook

  • “Now you have to be out talking to the business to find out what the needs are. The demands for information and for collaboration are so great.” Forbes

  • “Today, you have to think through the implications of every action and prepare to be on multiple paths.” Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

  • "Not only should they crunch the numbers on potential moves like mergers, but they should also generate strategies themselves, by analyzing the likely financial impact of industry trends and other big issues. Strategy and finance should be like two sides of a coin—inseparable. . . Many CFOs and finance organizations tend to be focused on the internal operations of their company. But having a firm grasp of the world beyond the company is just as crucial." Wall Street Journal

  • For an in depth report see the ACCA-IMA® report: The Changing Role of the CFO

    USC's EMHA program can help you develop the strategic leadership and technical skill set to work in healthcare administration in today's changing environment.

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Topics: Healthcare Careers

Anna Montgomery, MPA

Written by Anna Montgomery, MPA

Anna Montgomery earned her MPA at USC Price and is pursuing her EdD at USC Rossier.

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