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Sunday, 25 May 2014 22:00

Clearly communicating financials a key priority for Allore at Mercy Health

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Gary Allore, CFO, Mercy Health Gary Allore, CFO, Mercy Health COURTESY PHOTO

Gary Allore views getting people to understand the financial status of the Mercy Health organization as a critical piece of his role as CFO.

From his fellow executives and administrators, to the medical staff and nurses and the support staff throughout Mercy Health, Allore works to “get everyone in the organization understanding what’s going on in our financials and getting them to the point where they want to help us do something about them.”

“That’s where I’ve had a lot of success. I can communicate the financial information in a way that people understand it and want to react to it,” said Allore, the regional CFO for Mercy Health who serves in a dual role as CFO for the health system’s Mercy Health Muskegon operations. “We’re … an asset to the community, and in order to be an asset, we have to be viable.”

Allore, who’s been with Mercy Health for nine years, and in the dual role as regional CFO since August 2012, was the finalist in the nonprofit category for MiBiz’s CFO of the Year Awards.

In nominating Allore for CFO of the Year, Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce President Cindy Larsen noted that Mercy Health is one of the best-performing regional systems within parent company CHE Trinity Health.

“Gary not only delivers exceptional performance in the role of regional CFO, he brings a strong commitment to mission and service to his professional and personal life. He is tremendous at motivating teams and supporting individuals both within Mercy Health and throughout the community as they work to pursue careers in finance and health care,” Larsen wrote.

As regional CFO, Allore overseas financial management for a $1.2 billion regional health system that includes hospitals in Grand Rapids, Muskegon, Cadillac and Grayling, plus a physician network of more than 450 doctors.

He holds the job at a time when the economic model for health care is changing dramatically and insurers are starting to pay hospitals and doctors based on their efficiency and the quality of care they provide, rather than for the number of procedures they perform. Mercy Health was one of the early adopters of a value-based reimbursement contract with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan in 2012.

Transitioning from a “volume-based world” to the new era of value-based health care finance represents both the biggest challenge and the biggest opportunity facing the health system, Allore said.

“We’re moving from getting paid for the number of people we take care of, to ultimately getting paid for how healthy we’re keeping our community and the health of the population and the patients we serve,” Allore said. “The crosswalk between today and that point in the future is going to be really challenging.”

Working toward the end goal of improving the health of the community while a majority of revenue still comes from the volume-based reimbursement model “hurts the health system” financially in the short term, he said. “But in the long term, it’s definitely what we need to do. It’s the right thing to do, but how we get from here to there is going to be difficult.”

Key accomplishments during Allore’s career include managing the financial aspects of two hospital mergers in Muskegon: the 1998 combination of Mercy Hospital with Muskegon General Hospital, where Allore worked as controller; and the 2008 merger of Mercy General Health Partners with Hackley Hospital that came as the economic downturn was just beginning. Allore recalls the period of the Hackley merger as one of the most challenging he’s ever encountered, although it led to the organization becoming a stronger health system.

“That merger was a lot of work, but if we would not have done that in 2008, I can’t imagine what would have been the outcome during the recession we saw in 2009,” he said. “Getting through the merger at the same time we were going through the recession, it was a tough time for us, but I think from a leadership perspective, it made us look at what we really needed to do for this community. We had to really circle the wagons and roll up our sleeves, and I think we got through it pretty successfully.”

 

Gary Allore

  • Organization: Mercy Health
  • Annual revenue: $1.2 billion
  • Mission critical: Allore says he must get data to people in a way that they understand it and grasp how Mercy Health is performing. That way, “when I’m feeling like things are going really well or things are not going so well, the organization will feel the same thing because people have good data on how we’re doing and will want to react to it quickly and timely.”
  • Academic degrees: B.A. in economics and management, Albion College; MBA, Grand Valley State University
  • Community involvement: Presently chairs the board of the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce. He serves on the board of ProMed Ambulance and on the finance committee of Access Health.
  • Personal: married, Sue; three adult children
  • Advisers: Deloitte, CPA; in-house legal counsel from CHE Trinity Health
Read 7175 times Last modified on Tuesday, 10 June 2014 07:46

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