How Financial Management Affects Healthcare: What Nurse Administrators Should Know

Can you imagine working for a company that had no regard for its financial operations? Without a doubt, it wouldn’t last long! Financial management is crucial for any industry. In healthcare, proper management of budgetary elements ensures the facility runs smoothly and avoids any disruption to patient care.

According to Binary Stream, “the primary role of financial management is reducing risk and managing finances to reach a healthcare organization’s goals … Many factors influence the financial health of an organization, and most will find room for improvement in both their systems and processes.”

Many nurse administrators are in charge of handling financial management and coordinating financial plans on the patient side. All administrators must understand healthcare finances to manage all aspects of the sector effectively. In an online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) in Nursing Administration program, students learn how to leverage financial management knowledge to increase efficiency and performance and improve patient outcomes.

What Does Financial Management Entail?

Daily, nurse administrators manage various elements of their facility and have many responsibilities as a leader. One of the most important topics in healthcare management overall is financial management.

Financial management encompasses duties such as:

  • Managing/improving payment processes. Administrators can help patients determine how they will pay for healthcare services. They can also work to advocate for lower payments.
  • Reducing financial risks. Facilities often run into financial risks due to resource and revenue scarcity. To combat this, administrators try to find ways to save and still operate.
  • Identifying and reducing fraud. To alleviate any circumstances of fraud, administrators work to decipher when finances seem fraudulent or unethical.
  • Financing infrastructure and other improvements. To utilize the latest technology and software, administrators must strive to allocate new enhancements to financial security.
  • Meeting accounting and additional standards. Many administrators attend meetings to fulfill the accounting requirements and standards of healthcare financing.
  • Handling vendor contracts. Administrators regularly update contracts with vendors and other healthcare industry partners, ensuring all contracts are up to date and preventing wasted money due to canceled contracts.

Value and Challenges of Financial Management

Financial management knowledge is highly valuable for a nurse administrator. Healthcare facilities rely on managers to combat various challenges within the field.

For example, if administrators cannot uphold regulations and mitigate specific issues, they could lead healthcare facilities into a corrupt space. Administrators work long hours to ensure all forms of management are ethical. Without attention to detail, things can be overlooked.

Another of the top challenges within financial management is laying off employees or cutting hours to cut costs for the company. This can be a challenging task for administrators since they want to avoid making such a decision, but it may be the only option for balancing budgets. Additionally, they might be required to cut programs or service lines, which can lead to certain patients leaving healthcare providers.

Investment Pedia explains that enacting broad cuts in the operational and staff areas impacts a reduction in the morale of employees and patients who become dissatisfied over time.

However, with deep experience in healthcare financial management, nurse administrators can develop creative approaches to budgetary concerns. This is a unique position to be in — one which stems from their educational foundation.

Develop Financial Management Skills With a Master’s Degree

One way to develop financial management skills as an administrator is to further your career and earn your MSN degree. Those who enroll in the online MSN in Nursing Administration program at Radford University will expand their nursing knowledge and prepare to enter leadership positions.

Students will build upon their undergraduate foundation and expertise in critical management areas such as informatics, financial management and legal issues in healthcare. Due to the program’s accelerated design, they can accomplish this in as few as 12 months.

This intensive program allows students to analyze the impact of system policies on healthcare, participate in policy development and use advocacy strategies to influence healthcare quality. For instance, the Financial Management in Healthcare course covers the basics of the terminology, tools and methods of financial management in healthcare organizations and systems. In the Healthcare Systems and Policy course, students unpack healthcare systems policy design, implementation and evaluation.

Each future nurse administrator will obtain the knowledge and skills required to enter influential roles in the healthcare field, such as chief nursing officer, director of nursing or nursing administrator.

Learn more about Radford University’s online MSN in Nursing Administration program.

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