In recent years, there has been growing recognition for the need to increase gender diversity in leadership positions across industries. The healthcare sector, particularly in revenue cycle management, is no exception. While healthcare is dominated by women in the workforce at over 75%, less than 25% are in executive leadership roles and even fewer have reached financial leadership roles. It is evident that diverse perspectives and collaborative efforts are essential for driving positive change. By fostering an environment where men and women work together, sharing their individual strengths and experiences, we are actively reshaping the path of healthcare through:
- Enhanced Patient Experience: When men and women collaborate in healthcare revenue cycle leadership, the patient experience is positively impacted. By working together, we create a harmonious balance of empathy, efficiency, and effective communication, resulting in improved patient experiences and better health outcomes.
- Innovation and Problem-Solving: When gender diversity is present in leadership roles, different perspectives and unique problem-solving approaches are brought to the table. Igniting innovation and creativity spurs continuous improvement in revenue cycle processes. This collaborative approach drives transformative change, leading to streamlined operations, optimized workflows, and improved outcomes for both patients and healthcare organizations.
- Mentorship: One of the key benefits of having diversity in a leadership role is the opportunity for mentoring. By developing these relationships across genders, we can create a powerful network of support and guidance, offering insights into patient-centric approaches, empathy-driven strategies, expertise in financial management, analytics, and strategic planning. Collaborating these insights together leads to career development and nurtures the next generation of revenue cycle leaders.
Organizations with gender diverse leadership play a pivotal role in inspiring the next generation of female leaders to pursue positions that have traditionally been held by men, which ultimately encourages young women to explore opportunities in areas relating to revenue cycle such as technology and finance. As a result, women are actively applying to healthcare leadership roles, bringing their unique insights, experiences, and expertise to the table, leading to a more comprehensive understanding of healthcare challenges and delivering a personalized approach to patient care.
Last month, EnableComp had the great privilege of hosting a provider panel discussion entitled, “Women in Revenue Cycle: Leading in Innovation and Opportunity,” at the HFMA Annual Conference. The panel was comprised of four highly influential and successful women in healthcare leadership roles from MedStar Health, BJC Healthcare, Piedmont Healthcare and Vanderbilt Health. The session provided an open dialogue, focusing on topics such as today’s RCM space, viewpoints on the future healthcare landscape, and stories of the experiences and challenges each of them have encountered throughout their career.
On a national stage, with the session at capacity and standing room only, we felt the inspiration and impact that this discussion generated. The panel was engaging, honest, humorous and passionate!
Each of the panelists shared how their career in healthcare began and how they navigated their personal journey to a leadership role. Their perspectives on women leaders in revenue cycle was encouraging and powerful, and the ideas and suggestions they shared were resourceful and valuable for the audience.
Sandra Johnson, Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer at MedStar Health, shared her tactical approach to motivating her team: “Everybody wants to be valued. Everybody wants to know what they do and why they do it, so I spend a lot of time talking through that with people. What you do, why you do it, why it’s important – revenue cycle is so far away from a patient that sometimes our staff forget why they’re even there. So you have to spend a lot of time making sure they understand that we are there to make sure that every patient can be seen.”
We couldn’t agree more, which is why we submitted this panel discussion topic last fall, as it directly aligns with our core values of recognizing the importance of fostering an environment where all staff work together, regardless of gender. This collaboration allows us to achieve our top priority every single day – making a positive impact on patient lives by partnering with healthcare organizations to provide best-in-class billing for complex claims.
Heather Dunn, Vice President and Chief Revenue Cycle Officer at Vanderbilt Health shared how her mentorship experience has impacted her collaborative mindset: “It was because I was inspired by a mentor to take up arms and to make a difference, and I think that was the spark in me that has never gone out. Every day I get up and I just want to make a difference. Coming at revenue cycle from different ways, whether that’s with technology, or through vendors, or through just operations in general, it’s what I want the people around me to feel inspired by. I think that was just sort of the catalyst to how I got here and what keeps me coming every day.”
Leah McTague, Vice President of Revenue Cycle at Piedmont Healthcare, emphasized how important it is for a successful leader to be self-aware; a trait that is far more frequently found in female leaders. She stressed that building a diverse team of people with different backgrounds and perspectives was essential to thoughtful problem solving, and a leader who is highly self-aware and confident is able to also build a team that is substantively strong: “It’s important to know your weaknesses, and if you can recognize that, then you hire people around you that can fill that gap.”
The shift to a more balanced representation of gender diversity in leadership was highlighted by Deb Wierciak, Vice President of Revenue Cycle Business Operations at BJC Healthcare when she discussed her career journey: “Back in my audit days, I was frequently the only female auditor on a team. It’s definitely changed over the years, but I think maybe from the healthcare perspective and finance side, it’s better than other industries. In terms of our hospital presidents, 45% are female. Actually, our Senior People Officer is female and is also a CPA.”
Research shows that gender-diverse leadership teams tend to outperform their homogeneous counterparts. Organizations that embrace gender diversity in leadership positions are better positioned to adapt to changing industry dynamics and seize opportunities for growth and innovation. Female executives are making a massive impact on operational excellence and healthcare organizations who embrace it are creating a more inclusive and successful industry as a whole.
We made sure to record the panel session in hopes of inspiring other women leaders across industries and invite you to watch it here.
For more information on how EnableComp uses best practices to achieve optimal results through clinical expertise, data driven analytics, managed care and proprietary technology, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit us at enablecompcom.wpenginepowered.com.