New HFMA Chair Urges Members to Thrive Amid Industry Shifts

The new chair of the Healthcare Financial Management Association is challenging the organization’s members to not merely survive the current round of regulatory and economic uncertainty, but to thrive in it.

The new chair of the Healthcare Financial Management Association is challenging the organization’s members to not merely survive the current round of regulatory and economic uncertainty, but to thrive in it.

Mary Mirabelli, vice president of the global healthcare practice at Hewlett Packard Enterprise, was formally inducted as the HFMA’s 2016-2017 chair during the second day of the organization’s annual convention, which takes place this week in Las Vegas.

Mirabelli urged members to take a long view and adopt an optimistic attitude as they work through regulatory headaches and reimbursement changes.

“We have gone through massive legislative changes and each and every time we have figured out a way to make it work,” she said. “We have faced new processes, new jobs, new roles, new systems, and new technologies… and so the number of changes that we have managed is absolutely endless.”

Mirabelli selected “Thrive” as the theme for her term, which began June 1. Prior to Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Mirabelli was a senior executive as Hospital Corporation of America and also worked at Ernst & Young (now Capgemini). She began her healthcare career as director of occupational therapy at an Illinois hospital.

“With Mary’s global healthcare experience, she brings a unique perspective to the association,” said HFMA President and CEO Joseph J. Fifer, CPA, in a press release. “She also has insights into improving the financial experience that will inform our consumerism initiatives.”

Mirabelli began her speech by talking about a breast cancer patient she got to know earlier in her career. The patient’s courage and resilience through seven surgeries inspired other patients as well as her healthcare team. Mirabelli herself is a cancer survivor. She compared the healthcare industry’s efforts to persevere through uncertainty to the way patients have to persevere.

Every time it’s faced a challenge, Mirabelli said the healthcare industry has “figured out a way to get to a new normal. And that is actually what it’s like to have a chronic condition — you fight for your new normal.”

One way HFMA is finding its new normal is by making a major push into the digital age. The organization is offering on-demand webinars, launching a new website, and implementing a new member management system. Mirabelli herself has decided to become active on Twitter, setting a goal of tweeting every day.

Mirabelli said healthcare organizations and the HFMA must find ways to be nimble in the current economy. She said she’s confident they will.

“If our history teaches us anything, it teaches us that we can thrive,” she said.