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Healthcare CFOs managing major change with smart financing

Siemens Financial Services (SFS) has released new research that reveals that global healthcare organisations are using smart finance to transform their delivery of healthcare services. Over half of healthcare CFOs surveyed are already using a range of financing techniques, among which asset finance is the most popular. Conducted with healthcare providers across 13 countries, the study found that organisations are facing four common pressures: demographic change; shifting patient expectations; requirement to reform and the rising tide of healthcare technology trends and digitalisation. Healthcare organisations’ responses to these challenges are changing healthcare provision.   

Healthcare finance professionals regard new-generation technology as critical in enabling their organisations to transform. Moreover, more than half of the CFOs interviewed said investment in new-generation technology is “an urgent priority.”

Digitalisation and automation are seen as particularly important to enabling change, particularly with the move to early detection, value-based reimbursement models and population health management. In this respect, respondents cited three new-generation technology investment priorities: imaging and diagnostics; IT and electronic patient records management; surgery and surgical automation.

The research reveals that smart finance – such as leasing and renting-based packages – is seen as particularly important to healthcare organisations’ ability to manage change. Flexible financing techniques are becoming an increasingly important part of the healthcare CFO’s financial toolkit, as healthcare organisations face global pressure to change despite the constraint of financial resources.

“CFOs of healthcare organisations are at the forefront of prioritising where valuable funds are directed,” comments Chris Wilkinson, Head of Sales for Healthcare and Public Sector for Siemens Financial Services in the UK. “Smart financing techniques are increasingly critical in enabling organisations to acquire the new-generation, digitalised technology that is so fundamental in managing pressures to change.”

Chief Financial Officers in healthcare organisations were interviewed by telephone in a qualitative research study between August and October 2015. The interviewees came from public and private healthcare institutions in the following countries: China, Finland, France, Germany, India, Norway, Poland, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, UK and USA. Respondents were asked to give their views on the pressures to change faced by their institutions (their nature and severity), the role played by new-generation technology (particularly, but not exclusively, digitalised technology) in enabling effective change, and the use of a range of financing techniques to enable that technology acquisition.