The Persona: Chief Financial Officer

Position: James Duncan

Location: Seattle, Washington

My Background & Role

I am a certified public accountant and have a Masters Degree in Business Administration. I became the Chief Financial Officer of a community hospital 10 years ago. I have worked in hospital finance for 20 years, in a variety of roles; including; accountant, financial analyst, and financial manager. My area of focus has been broad, including, revenue cycle, third party reimbursement and payer contracting, financial analysis and decision support, and supply chain management.

I am accountable to the Chief Executive Officer and serve as one of ten leaders on the Executive Leadership Team. In my role as Chief Financial Officer I am expected to work collaboratively with leadership from: Medical, Nursing and Patient Care staffs, Information Technology, Human Resources, Quality and Patient safety, Risk management, Surgical Services and the community. I provide oversight to the following divisions: Supply Chain Services, Finance, Access Services, Revenue Cycle, and Contracting. I lead efforts to develop and maintain a 10-year financial plan that supports the integrated strategic plan. I am expected to crate financial controls to assure achievement of the organizations goals.

I must effectively interact with our Board of Trustees to ensure they have a clear understanding of the organization’s finances and the implications of various strategies and policies under consideration. I provide support to the board finance and planning committees. Our hospital is dependent on state and federal funding and because so, I must maintain effective working relationships with external parties, including but not limited to; regulators, auditors, banks, and the investment banking community.

I must provide effective communication of the health system’s financial condition to key stakeholders and keep them aware of changing financial conditions and create strategies as needed to ensure continued success.

My Focus, What Is Of Value To Me, And How I Am Evaluated

I am evaluated based on the organization meeting financial targets first and foremost. I am also evaluated based on my ability create systems to forecast finances and control costs. This requires that I create systems that support directors as they seek to understand what is driving cost and how they can control it.

The Decision Maker: Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

Typical value domains of those who function in the role of the chief financial officer are

  • Resource Management /Financial
  • Risk/Liability Management

Strategic Approach/Messaging to the CFO

  • Use your knowledge of the chief financial officer and the institution to customize your message and select the metrics that indicate how the resources needed for the project will be offset by its benefits/outcomes.
  • Review the case-based scenarios on the website [insert link] to identify one or more that is similar to yours. Customize and use it as a successful example.
  • Select the value domains that you believe are a match for those of the chief financial officer and rank order them. Review the messages associated with those value domains.
  • Begin with how your proposal aligns with the mission of the institution and any short or long terms goals you are aware of.
  • If the chief financial officer is not familiar with the benefits of simulation, integrate relevant advantages of simulation into your proposal. Consider selecting some seminal articles from the resource list [insert link] and providing copies as supplemental material. Be sure to include articles with identified ROI.
  • If you intend to apply for grant funds to support all or part of your proposal, include information about the grant, and include the time and resources you will need to prepare it.
  • Review the presentations and PowerPoints [provide link to that section] to see if any of them might help you prepare your own presentation.