Healthcare Budget Planning

As Q3 comes to a close, the hospital’s executive team is expecting you to analyze financial performance in the third quarter to inform next year’s budget. You have been tasked with delivering an executive summary to the executive team and board of directors. Each quarter of the fiscal year, you receive financial projections derived from historical growth and census data for the next quarter to forecast the financial performance of your department. Throughout the fiscal year, managers review the financial performance of their departments and, when actual results fall short or exceed those specified in the forecast, managers use variance analysis to identify the areas that caused the positive or negative performance. In addition to examining your historical financials, you decide to supplement your analysis by running a report on the variance analysis of revenue and expenses to assess your department’s financial performance. As a department manager of a healthcare organization, it is your responsibility to examine the results from the variance analysis report and interpret the differences between the forecasted and actual financials to report to the executive team. Specifically, the executive team has asked you to address the following in your summary: Describe the differences between what was planned for the current year Q3 and what actually happened Discuss whether the department’s financial performance fell short or exceeded expectations in the current year Q3 Determine potential financial or operational causes for the differences in revenue and expenses between the forecasted and actual current year Q3 financials. For instance, your department may have provided services to more patients of a particular payer type than expected. Consider how this affects the department’s quarterly revenue and expenses. Include examples from the financial reports (such as dollar amounts, count, or percentages) to refer to in your analysis to effectively inform the executive team on budget planning for next year In addition, the executive team requires a summary of how the department’s financial performance has changed over time. Specifically, you are asked to address the following in your summary: Discuss how the department’s financials changed from last year Q3 to the current year Q3 Describe whether revenue, expenses, and net income increased or decreased from last year Q3 to the current year Q3 Determine potential financial or operational causes for the increases or decreases in revenue, expenses, and net income Include examples from the financial reports (such as dollar amounts, count, or percentages) to refer to in your analysis to effectively inform the executive team on budget planning for next year The executive team is looking to be informed on the specific aspects of your department’s operations that affect your financial performance. As part of your analysis, the executive team has asked you to summarize the departmental factors that led to gains or losses for your department. Specifically, address the following: Explain how departmental factors, such as the volume of payer types, staffing, and medical costs, resulted in a net gain or net loss for the department in the current year Q3. Consider the following in your summary: What are the main sources of revenue for the department? What are the main cost drivers for your department? How do these costs relate to the operations in your department and the overall budget? Lastly, you are asked to inform budget planning for next year by providing two recommendations on changes that could be made to improve the department’s net income. Consider which aspects of revenue and expenses a manager can change to improve your department’s bottom line. Support your recommendations with reasoning based on the financial data.

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