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Career Story: Financial Manager For A Hospital

Financial Manager For A Hospital

Job Title: Financial Manager For A Hospital

Type of Company: I work for a large teaching hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.

Education: BA in Business, UMass Amherst •• MBA, Northeastern University

Previous Experience: I worked as a claims processor for a health insurance company, then as Admissions Coordinator then Assistant Director of Admissions for a Hospital. After receiving my MBA, I worked as a health care consultant, then moved to be Financial Manager in a Hospital

Job Tasks: I manage all financial aspects of the department of OB/Gyn for a hospital. My regular duties are to develop and present monthly financial statements for each individual doctor within the department, as well as a rolled up financial statement for the entire department to present to management. I also develop performance measurements such as volume of visits, surgeries and deliveries for each physician monthly.

I also work very closely with the department administrator and the chief to provide all types of financial analysis for the department. For example, if we are looking to hire a new physician in a new specialty, I will create a profit & loss statement with anticipated revenue and expenses for that position for the first three years, so we can see if the doctor will be profitable. Another example: If we are looking to rent new space, I will analyze how the new expenses associated with the space will affect the individual providers in that space as well as how it will impact the department's bottom line.

I also create the budget for the department every year. This involves creating individual budgets for each physician and program, and a rolled up budget for the whole department. The budget includes projected revenue, expenses, number of employees, and volume measurements (visits, procedures, outpatient surgeries, inpatient surgeries, deliveries). I then compare actual numbers each month to the budget, and investigate and explain when there are variances.

I don't manage anyone, but similar positions in larger Hospitals or departments might have a staff to help them.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best parts of the jobs are that I have a lot of autonomy, and have the freedom to develop spreadsheets and measurements that I believe will be helpful to the physicians and top management of the department. I also love presenting complex issues that I am able to put in an easily understandable format to help people understand finances.

The worst part of the job is presenting bad news when the finances don't look as good as anticipated.

Job Tips:
1. As a student, join an association or organization in the field (Healthcare Financial Management Association, for example). Attend meetings or seminars so you can get an idea of the issues facing the industry, and also you can meet people in the field. Most associations have cheap student rates for memberships and meetings.

2) Even though you may be into numbers & spreadsheets, it is also very important to be an effective communicator, both verbal and written. Don't underestimate the importance of being a good writer!

3) Presentation matters! When creating a spreadsheet, don't just plop the numbers down, but also pay attention to formatting & ease of reading the numbers (use bold, borders, underlines, etc. to differentiate headings & sections - make numbers easy to read & look at!)

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