Name: David Cox
Title: Chief Financial Officer
Company: Marin General Hospital and Marin Healthcare District
Company address: 250 Bon Air Road, Greenbrae, CA 94904
Number of company employees: 1,500
Professional background: Certified Public Accountant
Education: BS Accounting, Loyola Marymount; Master of Business Administration, University of Dayton
What do you see as the essential role of a financial leader in the current environment?
Fundamentally, we are about providing value to the community. We have to address a variety of issues that affect access to care, infrastructure investments, investments in programs and services and current operating needs. Our role is to balance these demands in a manner that meets community needs and provides a cost effective healthcare delivery system.
What are the biggest changes you've seen in your industry?
The technological and IT changes in healthcare are continuous and fascinating, and one of the most interesting aspects of this particular industry. However, the biggest change is the restructure of the financing mechanisms for healthcare that is currently taking place, which will drive changes in the way healthcare is delivered in the future.
Tell us about the particular challenges and opportunities your organization has met in the recent past?
Our organization has just successfully achieved a unique challenge, bringing a community hospital out of a large system and converting it to an organization that is focused on providing value to the community. This was an enormous undertaking, requiring the replacement of all contracts and the hospital’s complete information system. We have hit the ground running at full speed, have achieved terrific support from our medical staff and the community, and are well along toward meeting our strategic objectives.
What advice would you give to young emerging financial leaders?
This is just such an exciting time for young leaders to enter the field. The advice that I would give to is to try to gain broad exposure to the mechanics of running a health care organization, and to focus on providing value -- exceptional care, new technology, and cost effectiveness.
What's the best advice for weathering today's economic environment?
We are certainly living in interesting times, but I believe that the constant should be a continuous focus on improvement in all areas of the business. In order to survive, organizations need to remain cost effective and provide increasing levels of value to their communities.
How do you think your business will change in the next five years?
Health care is likely to be driven by the quality improvement and cost initiatives that are contained in the ARRA regulations. Hospitals will be paid based on the actual quality provided, implementation of an integrated IT system is mandated, and physicians and hospitals will increasingly function as a single organization.