Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
CEO Minute: A Look at Revenue at Budget Time

CEO Minute: A Look at Revenue at Budget Time

CEO Minute: A Look at Revenue at Budget Time- image0We are in the throes of preparing budgets for all departments and each campus.  As a practice, we are having a good year — and, as usual, there are multiple reasons.  As we work on budgets, we look at all sources of revenue.  These include collections generated from attending to patients, research funds, state dollars, contracts and philanthropy.  It takes all sources to help Texas Tech Physicians sustain financial viability.

Setting aside budget talk for a minute, at the top of the list of why we are doing well is our dedicated employees. Thank you for all you do. It was good to be with many of you at the Meat and Greet event last Friday and to see several of our colleagues honored.

Back to finances, one of the reasons we are doing well this year is that we are benefiting from electronic health record (EHR) stimulus money.  These are dollars are made available to us by the federal government to advance the adoption of the EHR.  In a very real sense, this is recouping sunk costs, or funds spent over the past numerous years, on information technology. These funds are of great assistance to us in covering our expenses. And, I suppose one could say that we do earn them through our physicians achieving meaningful use objectives. While many criticize the federal government, in this case, the dollars are helping to achieve a national goal — a unified EHR system. Unification is still in the future, but many experts believe that a good EHR is key to controlling costs and moving society toward more evidence-based medicine. Others take a different view, but this is the direction our federal government is taking us.

We must always remember at the top of the financial list is the revenue we earn from seeing patients. As I have occasion to talk with leaders of academic medical groups across the United States, it is clear that all have come to view profitable clinical operations as an indispensable component in achieving funding to accomplish the tripartite academic mission of today’s medical school.