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The CFO in an age of consolidation


Tom Quinn, a senior partner with the executive-search firm Witt/Kieffer specializing in recruiting healthcare senior executives, write here about the changing role of  the healthcare-organization chief financial officer, especially in light of more and more systems centralizing their financial operations  as industry consolidation continues.

Among the things that he has heard from healthcare CFOs lately:

  • “New corporate financial liaison roles are becoming typical, especially in large systems.
  • It’s imperative for site and divisional CFOs to understand system strategy.
  • ‘“Soft’ skills of collaboration, communication, negotiation and advocacy can be as important as “hard” skills of accounting, financial reporting and data analysis.”

He writes: “A well-positioned CFO is trained to highlight the consequences of business moves such as alternative payment schemes at the system level and educate teams on risk amelioration at the local level. System CFOs can assist in this positioning by assigning areas of responsibility that stretch site and divisional CFO skills. They can guide, or coach, but also allow for creativity and debate to get the best outcome.”

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