By: Craig Fainstein
Area Vice President, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.
HFMA Florida Chapter Committee Member
Name: Jeff Zade
Title: Manager of Cost Accounting and Financial Analytics
Organization: Martin Health System
Position within HFMA: Certification Committee Chair
What is your current volunteer role within HFMA?
I chair the Certification Committee.
Where did you grow up, and where do you currently live?
I grew up in the Detroit area, but I lived and worked most of my adult life in Chicago.
Where did you attend college, and what was your area of study?
I attended Northwestern University (near Chicago) after high school and studied economics, but I completed my degree at Walsh College (Michigan) with a B.S in Accounting.
What did you like most about this area of study?
In school I always tended to the Managerial Accounting and Finance related applications of the Accounting field. I didn’t seek out the CPA track like most of my class mates.
Tell us a about your path to Healthcare Finance, and what you enjoy most about it.
I worked in the banking world for years after college and then transitioned to finance positions in the non-profit world. This experience led me to my first healthcare position at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in downtown Chicago. I love working in healthcare as it’s very challenging (not boring) from a finance perspective, and you get to feel good about the fact that you’re helping people, not just trying to sell them something.
How did you become involved with HFMA?
I have known about HFMA for many years but really just became active since my move to Florida in 2011. My boss and several other leaders at Martin are very active with the Florida chapter, and they encourage membership.
What do you most enjoy, and how have you benefited professionally from HFMA?
I enjoy the camaraderie of belonging to Florida HFMA, but it’s the education that I benefit from the most. Healthcare is complex and always changing, so HFMA can be a great aid in staying sharp.
What are the greatest strengths of the organization you work for, Martin Health System?
The strongest aspect of MHS is the people. My colleagues’ expertise and friendliness are second to none.
What are some of the challenges that you have had to navigate in your leadership role?
The biggest challenge I’ve had to face is trying to accomplish all my responsibilities with limited staff. Healthcare today is extremely data driven, and it takes knowledgeable people to work with data to create actionable results. I’ve spread myself pretty thin at times trying to keep up with decision support requests.
How has healthcare reform shaped or affected operations and finance at Martin Health System?
I think healthcare reform has, and continues to, increase the role of data analytics. Data is especially important with regards to the transition to value over volume. Unfortunately, I don’t think the architects of healthcare reform consider the increased cost of educated staff and new technologies this in their ‘savings’ calculations.
How do you envision Martin Health System, and/or the Healthcare Industry will look in ten years?
I see the progression to quality/value continuing and for the most part I think it will really benefit patients. In the finance world we are going to have to stay informed and proactive, but ultimately I think we will be delivering better quality, less costly care in ten years.