CFO Recognition Awards 2012: Tim Moran, Petaluma Health Center

Chief financial officer 

[caption id="attachment_59613" align="alignleft" width="220" caption="Tim Moran"][/caption]Petaluma Health Center1179  N. McDowell Blvd., Petaluma 94954, 707-559-7500,

Employees: 164

Professional background: 40 years in health care finance in various settings

Education: B.A. Accounting, San Fransisco State University; EMBA in Finance, University of Southern California

Age: 65

Comment about Tim Moran: "Tim is an unusually gifted and visionary CFO.  As a key member of the executive team , Tim brings objective clarity and strategic direction to the financial aspects of all that we do at the health center.  The combination of his personality and keen understanding of organizational dynamics makes him a star at communicating complex financial issues to employees at every level, as well as our consumer board members." --Kathie Powell, CEO, Petaluma Health Center

Questions for Mr. Moran:

What do you see as the essential role of a financial leader in the current environment?

Finding capital and allocating resources to support critical operations and providing support for experimentation with new programs.

What are the biggest changes you’ve seen in your industry?

Health care financing changed from cost-based reimbursement to managed care for both public and private insurers and now may move to some version of outcome-based payment.  Also, the shift to ambulatory care versus hospital-based care.

Tell us about the particular challenges and opportunities your organization has met in the recent past?

The move to new, modern, much larger space last year allowed a 25 percent increase in number of patients seen, but even before that PHC had been growing fast.  Our budget has doubled since I started less than four years ago.  Our expansion has been largely due to the economy driving more people to seek  lower-cost, high-quality health care.  We still have more demand than we can meet.

What advice would you give to young emerging financial leaders?

Understand your business’s operations.  It is easy to become too involved in the financial intricacies but you must always remember you are in a support role.  Yes, you need to provide realistic parameters to what can be undertaken but you need to say "yes" more often than "no" and find a way to make it happen.

What’s the best advice for weathering today’s economic environment?

Conserve cash.  And be very thorough in doing feasibility studies, taking a broader range of possibilities into consideration.  We are going to see a lot of changes in the business environment in the next few years.  Change will accelerate but erratically.

How do you think your business will change in the next five years?

That is what everyone in health care is pondering.  Health reform, as currently envisioned, will bring millions more into the mainstream health system, increasing demand enormously.  But which organizations will be prepared to attract and serve that population under a new, untried regulatory environment is the question.

What is a decision you wish you hadn’t made? What did you learn from it?

I truly cannot think of a decision that I regret since they all have brought me to where I am today.  However, they taught me to keep a good deadline calendar and review it often.

What is your most memorable business experience?

Creating the administration for the medical school of the National University of the United Arab Emirates.  I was there before, during and after the Gulf War which added to the memorability factor.

What is your greatest business success?

I consider the turnarounds for various health care firms as my greatest successes.  Taking a failing business and breathing new life into it and saving jobs has been the most rewarding experience.  Working with not-for-profits to achieve financial stability in an uncertain world is very satisfying.

What was your toughest business decision?

To not take the easy way and allow a company to declare bankruptcy. We then had to dig our way out to a positive outcome and a sustainable business.  If we were not successful the outcome would have been much worse than if we cut our losses earlier.

What would your friends be surprised to find out about you?

I used to compete in IDPA pistol shooting with my wife.

Most admired businessperson outside the company: Silicon Valley CEO T.J. Rodgers

Current reading: Economic Fallacies by Fredric Bastiat

Most want to meet: Steve Forbes

Stress Relievers: Meditation

Favorite activities outside work: Wine tasting, travel, shooting

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