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Health Equity Coaching – CFO


Michael, a CFO with 20+ years of experience at a six-hospital system, who was referred for Health Equity coaching by the CEO. Although Michael had institutional knowledge, strong analytic skills and a passion for the organization’s success, he experienced challenges in his role. From a personality perspective, Michael’s peers described him as a poor communicator and as someone unwilling to collaborate. With respect to his performance, Michael struggled to improve financial results. Michael expressed discomfort with the organization’s new structure and how to navigate the changes. Additionally, his colleagues stated that he was not connected to the community served by the system.

Personality Focus

  • Executive Presence – demonstrate verbal and non-verbal behaviors that exemplify CFO/senior executive role
  • Communication – organize time and resources to improve responsiveness to others
  • Collaboration – seek the counsel and buy-in of others on matters important to the team (particularly around financial performance and strategy)

Performance Focus

  • Operating Margin
  • EBITDA Margin
  • Cash on Hand
  • Labor Costs
  • Unique lives served

Data Focus*

  • Readmissions
  • Length of Stay
  • Mortality
  • Infections
  • Patient Satisfaction

*All data analyzed by subgroup (race/ethnicity, language preference, zip code, payer)

The Results

Michael and his coach reviewed patient and community data. A significant finding uncovered with his coach was the higher Length of Stays (LOS) at one location. Michael was coached on how to work with the CMO and CNO on this issue. He was involved with employee meetings at the location to understand the underlying reasons for the high LOS. He also reviewed patient satisfaction data (quantitative and qualitative) from that site. Michael had not engaged with his team nor the data in this manner before. He learned that the high LOS was primarily driven by patients staying past lunch for an additional meal. With this data, Michael led the effort in providing boxed lunches to patients along with their breakfast to foster earlier discharges. This initiative has expanded to addressing food insecurities in the community. Over time, LOS decreased, thereby improving financial performance for this location. Michael has become an internal champion for equity, citing that he was finally able to connect financial performance and health equity.

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