Sehrt closely monitors hospital financials

The CFO of Loveland-based McKee Medical Center, a 132-bed, acute care hospital with 801 employees, started her medical career as a transcriptionist.

“That’s why I’m a fast typer and great speller,” jokes Lori Sehrt.

While moving her way up the hospital administration chain, Sehrt went back to school for a bachelor’s degree in accounting. When she finished, she worked for MeritCare Hospital and Lutheran Health Systems in Fargo, N.D. In 2000, she accepted a position as Banner Health’s regional finance director in Greeley. In 2008, Sehrt joined McKee Medical as the CFO.

Although McKee was in good shape fiscally when Sehrt joined, regional competition and declining federal reimbursements were and remain a constant challenge.

“We have a goal to be profitable on Medicare reimbursements,” Sehrt said. “We’re not there yet, but we’re closing that gap.”

Through controlling labor, which makes up about 50 percent of total expenses, and supplies, which are another 15 percent, Sehrt hopes to continue improving company operations and increasing revenue.

Even though finance is important, Sehrt said patient care remains the No. 1 priority. Sehrt said the company philosophy incorporates five key priorities — four of which involve employee, physician and patient care, but of those priorities, finance comes last.

“You could probably stop anyone in McKee Medical Center and they would tell you that,” Sehrt said. “We have finance last because we know if we do well with the first four, finance will follow. Everything isn’t dollar-driven. Our top priority is our patients.”

McKee recently rolled out the first online accounts payable system in Banner’s Western Region.

“We’re always looking for ways to automate and streamline systems to make it more efficient,” Sehrt said.

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