This Week Health

Rob DeMichiei

Board Director and Strategic Advisor, Former CFO

Robert DeMichiei is a Board Director and Strategic Advisor and Former Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of UPMC.

Rob is the retired Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of UPMC, a $20B+ nonprofit health system and leading health care provider and insurer. During his time at UPMC, Rob implemented best practices in controllership, with UPMC achieving voluntary SOX 404 certification in 2006. He also led UPMC’s activity-based costing/service-line implementation and Consumerism initiatives. In addition to Finance, Rob led the Supply Chain Management and Revenue Cycle functions, driving integration, technology infusion and process improvement/efficiency throughout the organization. Rob’s teams created a number of healthcare technology solutions, three of which were commercialized and spun-off.

Before his 16-year tenure as UPMC CFO, he held various executive finance roles with the General Electric Co. (GE). He served as manager of finance, global business development & integration for GE Energy and as chief financial officer for GE Transportation Systems’ Global Service Operations. He also spent 10 years with Price Waterhouse in Pittsburgh.

Rob currently serves on the Board of Directors of Waystar, where he is the Audit, Compliance and ESG Committee Chair, and he is a Strategic Advisor for Health Catalyst (NASDAQ; HCAT). He also serves as the Board Chair of the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania, Investment Committee Chair of AAA East Central, and Finance Committee Chair of the Seton Hill University Board of Trustees. Rob has a BA in Business Economics from the University of Pittsburgh.



I think it was interesting that at J.P. Morgan 2023 everybody spoke of what I'll call structured cost reduction initiatives. And we're talking reductions in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Advent talked about a 300 million dollar target but literally Intermountain, CommonSpirit, Baylor Scott & White and Ascension all had specific strategic initiatives to reduce cost.
One of the realities is to leverage scale. There's a tipping point in terms of a market presence where you start to realize the benefits of scale. And if you don't get to that tipping point, then you have more of what I call an outpost. And you're not able to leverage either payer contracts or staffing or your physician network to your benefit
The great CIOs realize that they're not buying clinical capabilities to build an empire or for the benefit of the CIO. It's for operations. It's for the CMO. It's for the hospital administration and the hospital presidents. So to me, the CIO becomes the facilitator and the translator. They bring operations to the table. And they ask, are we leveraging our systems? And are we actually consuming them efficiently?
The way to avoid denials is to have a world-class revenue cycle department. To me. blocking and tackling is involved but we know not all health systems do it. The other part of it is the cat and mouse game that has always been played between provider and insurer.
Price transparency is the first crack in the dam. Over the coming years, there will be more disclosure and more transparency. And once brokers, insurers and employers get a hold of this data it's going to lead to lower prices for providers. No doubt.
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