The healthcare industry is changing. The changes are driven by industry trends that include moving to the cloud, growth through consolidation, cost and reduction initiatives, evolving regulatory requirements, and shift to consumer-driven healthcare.
I recently sat down with Brian Goldrick, the Director of Accounting at Vera Whole Health, to discuss the changing business of healthcare. In our webinar, “Financial Dashboards and KPIs That Matter for Your Healthcare Organization,” Brian and I discussed the industry trends and how Vera Whole Health handles their financial information amidst rapid growth and increasing complexity. Brian shared that one of the keys to their success has been the ability to monitor key performance indicators (KPIs).
We discussed how industry trends are calling for more insight and transparency into a healthcare company’s financials. This is especially important with multi-entity/multi-location environments, which require access to data from any entity, at any time, from anywhere.
The majority of healthcare organizations I talk to report on at least 10 KPIs. These KPIs often include:
- Revenue per bed
- Revenue per clinician
- Revenue per treatment
- Expense per bed
- Number of patients served
- Number of encounters
- Number of clinicians
- Aggregate general and administrative expense per practice area
- Profit and loss by location
- Profit and loss by actual budget
Brian and I also discussed how Sage Intacct is empowering Vera Whole Health to analyze KPIs in real-time.
Vera Whole Health provides population health management to large and mid-sized employers. Their delivery model includes onsite primary care with embedded health coaching. More recently, the organization has partnered with payers to help drive its strategy. Incorporating KPIs into their reporting dashboards has been vital in allowing them to see how each clinic is operating.
“Some of the things that we’re taking a look at are our operating costs by number of eligible lives for a particular clinic and how many medical supplies we’re using per clinic visit,” Goldrick said. “This insight helps us drive and determine the rate that we’re charging to our customers.”
With the drill-down capability of Sage Intacct, Vera Whole Health is able to analyze their data at the individual clinic level. This has helped Vera reduce their monthly close from 15 days to 4 days.
“We can see which clinic is operating better than others and try to drill down further to understand why that’s the case, why one clinic is operating differently from another,” Goldrick explained.
To use data to drive decision-making, financial leaders need three things: automated financial operations, multi-dimensional analysis of key results, and synchronized data with the system in real time. Sage Intacct allows Vera Whole Health to do all three. Reports are easily generated, and custom dashboards do not require additional IT support.
“I’ve used the analogy before, that Sage Intacct can be seen as a wheel where all the spokes coming off of it are connections to different systems,” Goldrick observed. “We have Concur and our budgeting system connected to Sage Intacct.”
When analyzing the budget versus actual, Vera Whole Health staff can synchronize data and pull all the actuals into Sage Intacct to look at variances and try to figure out what’s happening on a particular account. This functionality is especially important considering the industry changes to the role and responsibilities of CFOs, who are shifting away from accounting tasks to focus more on strategic activities.
Research has shown that CFOs and accounting staff have spent 75% or more of their time as an accountant and a protector of historical information*, rather than a strategic advisor to the organization. The financial leaders I’ve talked to want to change that and desire more time to become strategic advisors to their organizations.
Vera Whole Health sees this shift reflected in its own organization. "My CFO doesn't even have to log into our accounting system. I fully own and operate our accounting system, and that allows my senior director and our CFO the ability to more strategically dive into those KPIs,” said Goldrick.
Using Sage Intacct as their accounting system has allowed the organization’s CFO to focus less on monitoring KPIs, and more on strategic development.
"We're able to develop KPIs that help the CFO and senior director of finance determine what the pricing model should be, based on the number of enrollees we might have at a particular clinic and the number of providers and staff that we need to have onsite in order to get the return on investment that we're looking for,” stated Goldrick.
"In our old accounting system that ability would have taken a lot longer and we could have missed out on an opportunity," Goldrick said. "Sage Intacct allows us to make real-time decisions that help benefit the business immediately."
To hear more of our conversation, listen to our webinar, Financial Dashboards and KPIs That Matter for Your Healthcare Organization. If you want to learn how to design your own dashboard, watch this short video. In addition, I’d love to hear what your organization is tracking–please send me an email and let me know.