Deloitte survey: Health care CFOs, concerned about financial uncertainty

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Health care CFOs consider that financial uncertainty remains their main concern for the period ahead, with two thirds of them expecting revenue growth this year after a significant decrease in 2020, which, however, will be largely offset by continuing growth in costs, according to Deloitte survey „The changing role of health care finance leaders”. At the same time, 68% of participants state that digital technology investments are top capital spending priorities, given that traditional business models have demonstrated their limits during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the study, health care representatives are focused on employee motivation and well-being and committed to ensure an attractive working environment. Half of the participants say that new ways of working (virtual, gig workers, automation) was their top organizational priority and propose investments for a workplace that is increasingly hybrid, in the context of the gradual reopening of economies.

In order to implement the hybrid working model, CFOs are considering balancing investments on two fronts: technology, to allow employees to work remotely and to quantify their productivity, and real estate, to restructure and resize the workspaces according to the new requirements.

”2020 was a challenging year for all business and industries, but it meant an unprecedented crisis for health care organizations in particular. Even if they responded resiliently, saving millions of lives, many faced financial, workforce, and supply chain vulnerabilities. In the US, the American Hospital Association estimated the financial losses for hospitals and health systems at US$323 billion last year. Revenues are growing again in this area, but it becomes increasingly clear that, for the future, a flexible, technology-based management system must be designed in such a way that it can be adapted to as many unforeseen situations as possible, in order to ensure business continuity in the most difficult conditions,” said Vlad Boeriu, Tax and Legal Partner-in-Charge, Deloitte Romania, and Health Care Industry Leader.

More than three-quarters (77%) of the health care CFOs which participated in the survey said they were moving beyond the traditional finance function within the organization to get more involved in the decision-making process in order to boost business growth. Among the most common initiatives in which they have played a decisive role in decision-making, the CFOs mentioned business model transformation and digital investments.

Optimizing working capital (55% consider it extremely important), improving technology architecture (50%), enhancing forecasting (48%), and automation (47%) are among the most important finance goals for health care CFOs over the next three years.

The study is based on a survey conducted on financial leaders (CFOs and finance vice presidents or above) from 60 large health care organizations, and on the opinions expressed by CFOs in 12 major health systems, in order to understand their perspectives on lessons learned, top concerns, and priorities set for a sustainable business growth.

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