Sonoma Valley Hospital Recognized For Developing Innovative Financial Management ProgramSeptember 6, 2017
Sonoma Valley Hospital has been selected as one of six California hospitals invited to present at The Hospital Council of Northern & Central California’s Summit 2017 meeting in late September. The hospital will be featured in the Innovation Challenge section of the program which highlights new ideas in health care management developed by California providers.
According to SVH CEO Kelly Mather, the hospital’s presentation, titled “The CEO Dashboard, An Agile Solution for Small Hospitals,” discusses how the hospital came to work with patientsDB, a healthcare industry firm, to develop a pilot program to improve financial management at small hospitals.
“Most small hospitals like ours do not have the resources or expertise to dig deep into their financials to understand the true cost of services and determine the effect of these costs on hospital operations,” said Mather. “However, it’s important that we understand how to improve our margins so we can maintain services in the face of continuously rising costs,” she said.
“We were approached by patientsDB to determine our interest in working together on a pilot program to create a model for small hospitals. It turned out to be a great partnership,” she said.
According to Mather, the hospital’s management team now has the tools to exercise greater control over managing and predicting the impact of changes in service costs and payments. “This is especially valuable,” she adds, “because 74 percent of the hospital’s payer mix comes from government sources, notably Medicare and Medi-Cal, which change their payment practices each year. We’re now able to be much more agile in responding to these changes.”
Since implementing the program, Mather reports the hospital has realized improved margins in almost every service unit which has helped hold down operating costs. She points out that the hospital did so while achieving a 4-star rating from Medicare which places it among the top 25 percent of hospitals nationally for quality of care.
The Hospital Council of Northern and Central California is a nonprofit hospital and health system trade association representing 185 hospitals and health systems in 50 of California’s 58 counties, with the mission of helping members provide high quality health care and improve the health status of communities served.