Funding diversification ‘key’ to overcoming health sector challenges

Research from SFS highlights four key challenges in global healthcare sector

Siemens Financial Services (SFS) has released a new research report examining how healthcare organisations around the world are meeting key challenges with smart finance.

Conducted with healthcare providers across 13 countries, the report has identified four common challenges: managing investment in a capital-constrained environment; adapting to market forces; digital innovation and technological transformation; and ‘meeting regulation and compliance requirements.

The research also explores how healthcare finance managers are deploying pioneering financing techniques to combat these obstacles to improve service provision and patient outcomes.

According to the report, budget constraints are hindering healthcare providers’ ability to make essential investments, which can lead to sub-par patient services.

At the same time, changing patient requirements and rising competitive forces make it increasingly difficult for healthcare institutions to accurately plan capital budget requirements.

In the face of escalating healthcare operational costs and more-stringent performance measures, flexible financing techniques are increasingly coming to the fore

There is also a pressing need to grasp technological advances to enable quality and productivity improvements. Regulatory pressures present an additional challenge of instituting wholesale change in healthcare organisations.

These impediments have led to a widespread intention among healthcare finance managers to diversify their funding sources. Leasing, rental and other forms of asset financing are highlighted, in particular, because of their abilities to enable improved cash flow and increased budgetary control.

Such financing techniques start from desired patient outcomes and work back to build a business case and financing structure that meets those objectives. Since financing models can embrace the total operating costs of new technology, finance managers can better obtain a reliable insight into cost-per-patient-outcome. Instead of tying up precious funds in equipment investments, customised financing enables improved budget management.

A few illustrative benefits include: comprehensive bundles of technology, service and staffing; payment schedules aligned to the commencement of operational technology; and ‘umbrella agreements’ to accommodate future technology acquisitions.

“In the face of escalating healthcare operational costs and more-stringent performance measures, flexible financing techniques are increasingly coming to the fore,” said Chris Wilkinson, head of sales for healthcare and public sector for Siemens Financial Services in the UK.

Through the use of smart finance healthcare providers can attract more patients, adapt seamlessly to market changes and raise overall healthcare standards

“Through the use of smart finance healthcare providers can attract more patients, adapt seamlessly to market changes and raise overall healthcare standards.”

Independent qualitative research was conducted in the first half of this year among healthcare finance managers across thirteen countries - China, Finland, France, Germany, India, Norway, Poland, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, the UK and the US. Respondents were asked about the key challenges confronting their organisations and how these impacted their organisational goals, as well as the range of financing techniques they deploy in overcoming these obstacles.

Click here to download the full report.

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