I had the interesting experience not too long ago of speaking with someone in the financial world who apparently thought himself an expert in Healthcare Information Technology. We were discussing the relative merits of Clinical Documentation Improvement (CDI). I confess that my mind had started to wander, as I was trying to recall who said “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt.” Then, sure enough, he opened his mouth again and said that he did not find CDI interesting because “… it is not on the list of top priorities of a hospital CFO.” I had two simultaneous reactions to this comment: (1) “the fool” quote must have been from either Abraham Lincoln or Mark Twain (it has been variously attributed to each of them, among others); and (2) thank you for giving me the subject of my next blog entry.
So what are some of the top priorities of a hospital CFO these days? Well, I am sure the total list could be quite long, but here’s a few that I came up with:
The quality and Patient Safety items may seem out of place on this list, but are actually quite relevant to a CFO these days as we move to Merit-Based Incentive Payment Systems (MIPS) and Alternative Payment Models (APMs).
Well, so far my conversation partner’s point is being born out — CDI does not appear on my proposed list. But let’s look at each of the items I came up with:
So, at first glance, the letters “CDI” do not indeed appear on the list of top priorities for hospital CFOs. But CDI enables, and directly impacts, everything that is on that list. It may not be on the list of top priorities, but it should be!
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