Winter 2005

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Healthcare Financial Management Association

In This Issue 10 Strategic Planning Resolutions….1 Provider Spotlight...............................1

Winter 2005

10 Strategic Planning Resolutions You Can’t Afford to Break By Aaron DeBoer

Letter from the Editor.........................1

HFMA National’s On-line Membership Directory...............7

The New Year may have come and gone, but it’s not too late to make a few more resolutions. Here are 10 resolutions that your management team can make to ensure a smooth, successful, strategic planning process.

Upcoming Events...............................7

1) Establish a strong analytical foundation for your strategic plan

Letter from the President..................3

Letter from the Editor By Kalon Mitchell This issue contains a very good article on strategic planning that ought to help you get ready for the New Year. Our Web site has been updated so please visit to get the latest on upcoming meetings. If you want to attend the upcoming Region 10 & 8 meeting in Arizona, you will need to register soon. A brochure is available on the Web site for registration and other information on this meeting. We have also added some new Web site links. I found a great one that shows you the current status of all HIPAA regulations and deadlines. If you have any favorite Web sites you would like to see added, please forward them to me so we can share them with everyone.

Continued on p. 6

A strategic plan is only as good as the foundation upon which it was built. A good strategic plan can propel your organization forward once your leadership team has a common understanding of your current position, future trends, and key uncertainties. On the other hand, a strategic plan based on an insufficient understanding of the internal and external environment can, at minimum, lead to poor acceptance of the plan and, at worse, sub-par decisions. Continued on p. 2

Provider Spotlight Dan Probstfield and Lake Regional By Eli Southard As Senior Vice President/CFO, Dan Probstfield can say a lot about Lake Regional Health System. Starting as the Financial Manager in 1986, he has seen steady growth at the hospital. Probstfield enjoys the people he works with as much as crunching (and going beyond) the numbers. This combination has doubtlessly helped his career. An HFMA member since 1974, he has received both the Muncie Gold Award—in July of 2001—and the Reeves Silver Merit Award in 1992. He is the overseer of five business-oriented departments at Lake Regional Hospital, namely accounting, patient accounts, patient registration, information technology, and materials management. A Missouri native originally from Verona, he takes advantage of the region’s exploits by camping with his wife. Continued on p. 4

10 Strategic Planning Resolutions Continued from p. 1 2) Focus the environmental assessment When developing an environmental assessment as part of your analytical foundation, it is important to select only those elements that will address the organization’s future challenges and resulting array of strategic opportunities. An efficient way to focus your environmental assessment is to develop and test a set of planning hypotheses centered on major market forces. With hypotheses formed, the organization can focus its analysis efforts on building a common understanding of the environment. However, performing a focused environmental assessment is not an end in itself. If the data does not convey a message and support the decision making process, it is simply data, not “information.” To mitigate this risk: •

Identify what information is most important to make decisions.

Effectively transform the data into actionable information.

Understand that there will never be perfect information.

3) Explicitly consider key uncertainties Addressing key uncertainties can help build a sense of charting your own course, albeit in turbulent waters. Tools like scenario planning, game theory, and decision tree analysis can all aid in understanding the risks associated with pursuing a particular approach/direction. Strategies that reduce the identified risks can then be incorporated into the strategic plan.

4) Keep your strategic plan focused on strategy, not operations All organizations have extensive opportunities to improve their efficiency and effectiveness in the areas of customer service, cost, and quality. An internally-focused strategic plan often seems successful because of the substantial operational improvements that can be made. However, it does not take long for organizations that are too operationally focused to grow out of touch with their markets. True strategic initiatives on the other hand, frequently have higher risk, are more disruptive to the organization, and may have longer implementation times and payoff returns. While operational initiatives are necessary to keep you in the game, strategic initiatives address competitive advantage. Too many operational initiatives in your strategic plan will weaken it and detract from its value, so keep your strategic plan strategic.

Continued on p. 5


Letter From the President By Greg A. Johnson “…our very survival depends on our ability to stay awake, to adjust to new ideas, to remain vigilant and to face the challenge of change.” The above quote was first presented in a speech on December 11, 1964 by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He was expressing his concerns for the rapid changes in technology and although his ideas were based on a much broader issue, I believe we can apply his words and vision to the issues we deal with everyday in the healthcare industry. Let’s break it down to gain a better understanding as to its meaning:

President Greg A. Johnson

President-Elect Theresa G. Winning, FHFMA

Vice President Amy J. Michael

Secretary Stephanie D. Fennewald, CHFP

“To stay awake” indicates to me that as leaders, we need to be alert to all internal and external influences that may impact the way we do business (this proves to be very difficult to do in the healthcare industry). One way is to stay informed of proposed changes and to provide input when we have the opportunity. “To adjust to new ideas” is ongoing and thankfully never-ending. Keep in mind that a new idea isn’t ensured to be a good idea.

“To remain vigilant” is to stay alert and not become passive. We must maintain our vision and adjust our goals as changes occur.

“Face the challenge of change,” accept the fact that change is going to happen with or without us. Understand that accepting the challenge of change comes with risk, lots of due diligence is required.

Treasurer Dale C. Koger

Director Dan Probstield

Director David W. Bokinsky

Director Matthew A. Levsen, CPA

Now let’s add three words to the quote to make it a little more personal: As healthcare leaders, “our very survival depends on our ability to stay awake, to adjust to new ideas, to remain vigilant and to face the challenge of change”. Would you say this was an accurate statement? Can these words be applied to what we do everyday? As healthcare leaders, it is our responsibility to develop strategies that provide positive results. To do so, we need a forum that can provide us with up-to-date information. We need a forum that can bring us new ideas and support. I believe that is what HFMA is all about—providing us with a forum to help us succeed. The Show-Me of Missouri Chapter prides itself in bringing you the latest information available on healthcare financial management issues (keeps you awake and helps you adjust to new ideas). In addition, the Show-Me of Missouri Chapter creates networking opportunities for you, your peers, and our sponsors (keeps you vigilant and prepares you to face the challenge of change). Take advantage of these resources and utilize them to the fullest. Think about the words above, continue to look beyond the numbers, and succeed in all of your endeavors. You have the power of HFMA behind you. 

Director Angela L. Richmond, MBA

Director Stephanie C. Weis

Director Jim Crawford

For additional contact information on officers please go to the chapter Web site, 3

In less than thirty years, it has steadily grown from that general hospital into a 140-bed, multi-faceted, state-of-the-art facility with one thousand employees, primarily servicing Camden, Miller, and Morgan Counties, as well as Laclede and Pulaski. In 2003 it became the first community hospital to win the Missouri Quality Award. The hospital is governed by a 15-member Board of Directors. The facility has 79 full-time medical staff members, and it supports a full range of medical and surgical services. These include: orthopedics, complete cardiovascular care, reconstructive surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, outpatient services, and community health education and prevention. The rehab therapy department has satellite clinics in Camdenton, Eldon, Lake Ozark, and Laurie. The Health System has six clinics and three retail pharmacies through a subsidiary corporation called Lake Regional Medical Management, Incorporated.

Provider Spotlight Continued from p. 1 The Lake of the Ozarks (which has over 1,150 miles of shoreline) came into existence over 70 years ago through an undertaking known as the Great Osage River Project. Union Electric, now Ameren UE, began construction on the Dam on August 6, 1929. Four months after construction began, the stock market crashed. While the rest of the nation was caught in the Great Depression, the mammoth Bagnell undertaking brought about a growth and expansion to central Missouri which continues today. Lake Regional Health System is a part of this continuing growth. Designated a Sole Community Provider by Medicare and a Rural Referral Center, Lake Regional Hospital has serviced the Lake of the Ozarks region since January of 1978 when it opened as Lake of the Ozarks General Hospital. 4

The hospital is also important to the summer population which vacations in the region: the Lake Area draws five to six million visitors a year. With approximately 36,000 annual visitors to the emergency room, the emergency services department is one of the state's busiest and is certified as a level three trauma center by the Missouri Bureau of Emergency Medical Services. Construction continues on Lake Regional Hospital’s 100,000 square foot expansion. This addition will house a new 35-bed ER, three new surgery suites, and 40 private patient rooms with room for 40 more rooms in the future. This new addition is scheduled to open in spring 2006. Lake Regional has also begun offering Intensity Modulated Radiation Treatment (IMRT) for radiation therapy cancer treatment patients. This procedure delivers the optimal dose of radiation to tumors while minimizing radiation exposure to healthy tissue. Continued on p. 7

10 Strategic Planning Resolutions Continued from p. 2 5) Avoid the use of “me too” strategies Many organizations take comfort in adopting the same strategies that other organizations have deployed. Once a strategy has been proven successful by one organization, it is often ubiquitously adopted by competitors, diluting the impact of the strategy. Strategic success begins with articulating what differentiates the organization from its key competitors. That is, how will we choose to compete (e.g., on price, quality, service)? In what ways will we create value for consumers? How will we respond to other organizations’ strategies? 6) Minimize least common denominator strategies Decision making in health care organizations is often compromised when leaders wait for unanimous stakeholder agreement. Not only will this stall the process, but it will weaken the boldness of the strategy. After all, you will only be able to progress as fast and as far as the least ready person will allow. Remember, broad based input is desired, but effective leadership is ultimately about making tough decisions. 7) Align strategies with financial capabilities Even the most brilliant strategy is reduced to mere speculation if the health care organization does not have the financial means to implement it. Every organization must ensure that their strategic plan is congruent with their financial capability.

A strategic-financial plan should: •

Include a full financial capability assessment

Address the allocation of scarce resources

Maximize the financial viability of the organization

8) Communicate early, often, and clearly when bringing your strategic plan to life A plan must be well known by key physicians and employees to be successful. The strategic intent for the organization should be communicated frequently, clearly, and concisely to ensure that the momentum created during the planning process is carried forward in the implementation. Make a resolution to communicate the strategic plan consistently throughout the year.

Continued on p. 6


Special Thanks to our 2004-2005 Sponsors:

10 Strategic Planning Resolutions Continued from p. 5 9) Add metrics to your strategic plan

Gold • • •

BKD, LLP Missouri Medical Collections HumanArc (Previously Unicare Corporation)


In stable environments, one has the luxury of making a few mistakes and course corrections. In an unstable environment, those course corrections must come sooner. Metrics are one tool that can be used to monitor the organization’s progress towards achievement of goals, strategies, and/or tactics. Metrics are the combination of a measure and a target. Measures are what we want to achieve, while the target is the quantified value of the measure. Figure 1 outlines some of the different metrics an organization can adopt. The value of this resolution can be summed up by the old adage “what you measure is what you get.” If you want results, identify what you want to achieve, assign responsibility, and create appropriate timetables. 10) Have fun and inspire your team!

Berlin-Wheeler, Inc. Receivables Management Davis, Hamilton, Jackson & Associates

Healthlink MediCredit/Outsource Group

Remote Support Services, Inc.

Bronze • • • • • • • • • •


Accounts Management Services— Columbia Account Resolution Corporation AIM Healthcare Services Credit Bureau of Paducah, Inc. D-Med Corporation Elite Financial Services, Inc. Faber & Brand, L.L.C. Attorneys at Law Healthcare Insights, L.L.C. Professional Data Services Sure Decisions, Inc.

Aaron DeBoer is a Consultant at Mitretek Healthcare-Jennings Ryan & Kolb. Contact him at [email protected].  Letter From the Editor Continued from p. 1 I will be heading to LTC with some of the officers of our chapter in April. This year it will be held in New Orleans. I am looking forward to some fine Cajun food—another benefit of chapter involvement that you could take advantage of if you become an officer in the future. If you do want to become an officer, contact your chapter leaders. We always have more work than people to get it done. On that subject, I am always looking for articles! This newsletter has a new feature that will be included in all future newsletters: the Provider Spotlight. We will feature information about a different member who is a healthcare provider each month. We will tell a little about their job and the facility they work with. This will allow our chapter membership to learn a little about each other, one member at a time. I will be responsible for four a year; you will have to introduce yourself to the rest of them. Until next time! 

HFMA National’s On-line Membership Directory Have you visited HFMA National’s On-line Membership Directory lately? Here’s the link: When you select “HFMA Directory”, not only can you search for members of our chapter, you can also search for all of your HFMA colleagues by name, company, and location - regardless of chapter! Using an on-line directory instead of a printed directory ensures that you always have the most up-to-date contact information. While accessing HFMA National’s On-line Membership Directory, you may view your current contact information and make edits to your profile. You can also view any products you have ordered, events you have registered for, your CPE credits, your Founders points, and more! It is vital that HFMA has your correct information, so please take a moment to review your record now. By doing so, you will ensure that HFMA continues to provide you with valuable information and insights that further your success.  Provider Spotlight Continued from p. 4 The equipment for this new treatment was provided with the proceeds of 2004’s H K Golf Tournament. Lake Regional is also proud of its enthusiastic 300-member auxiliary and its not-for-profit Foundation. Lake Regional Hospital Auxiliary was voted the auxiliary of the year by the Missouri Association of Hospital Auxiliaries. The auxiliary contributes more than 28,000 hours of service annually. The Foundation serves as a conduit through which residents and visitors learn what the hospital stands for, what it does, how it serves the needs of the community, and what the future needs of the hospital are. With the history of growth and continuing need for health services around the Lake of the Ozarks, Lake Regional is sure to continue to accommodate both trends.

Upcoming Events Region 10 and 8 Conference “Indulge the Spirit of Learning” Don’t miss the opportunity to relax and “indulge” at the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa for the Region 10 and 8 Conference in Phoenix, Arizona, April 10-12. The Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort is designed as an authentic representation of the Gila River Indian Community’s heritage and culture. A land of legends where wild horses still roam free, experience the stunning views and sunsets of the West’s famed Sonoran Desert while basking in a luxurious resort environment. The key speakers will include Richard H. Wade, SR VP for Strategic Communications, AHA and Peter Freytag CPA, VP Finance/CFO, Colorado Hospital & Healthcare Association. To be assured you receive the Special Room Rate of $189 plus a $7 resort fee per day, make your reservations by Friday, March 11. To obtain the Early Registration Rate ($295), make reservations by Friday, March 18. The Regular Registration Rate ($350) applies to registrations received from March 19April 5. 12.5 CPE Credits are available. Visit http://www.hfmashowme. org/ meetings.shtml for a brochure containing registration and additional hotel and conference information. 

To learn more about Lake Regional Health System, visit http:// Dan Probstfield is a Director for the HFMA ShowMe Chapter. His contact information can be found at http:// 


Show-Me Chapter Newsletter 4940 N. 21st St. Ozark, MO 65721-7481 RETURN SERVICE REQUESTED