Meet Michigan Medicine: Department of Finance
Every day, decisions are made across Michigan Medicine that affect the future of patient care, education and research.
Whether it’s purchasing new equipment or collaborating with an outside organization, there is one partner that plays a vital role in every decision: The Department of Finance.
“We’re here to provide relevant, timely and unbiased financial insight that allows for strong decision-making,” said Chief Financial Officer Paul Castillo, C.P.A.
Here’s what you may not know about the group you can “bank on” to help ensure the organization is heading in the right direction.
A team effort
The department is made up of 52 experts who play a number of different roles.
For instance, there are financial reporting and financial systems teams that work together to aggregate all of the organization’s revenues and expenses and produce financial information for various areas across the institution.
“Their work enables timely production of financial and management reports,” Castillo said.
There are also clinical analytics and medical school finance analytics teams that look at returns on investment, potential budgets and future forecasts in order to help make the best strategic decisions possible.
Finally, there are specialists who advise on payer contracts, revenue cycle, real estate investments and those who focus on governmental payers to ensure the organization is paid for all the services it provides.
“Everyone’s role is vital to ensuring that Michigan Medicine carries out its mission every day,” Castillo said. “We can’t reach more and more patients across the state if we don’t make sound business decisions, and we can’t reinvest in our workforce if we aren’t properly paid for our services. So all of our teams are integral to the way the organization operates.”
At the top, the finance department is headed by Castillo, along with a financial controller and four associate chief financial officers (ACFOs) who work directly with the leadership of various entities within the health system. That includes the U-M Medical School, UH/CVC, C&W and the U-M Medical Group. Castillo is also supported by leadership in both the contracting and revenue cycle functions.
“We meet regularly with those leadership teams in order to provide sound financial advice,” Castillo said. “If they want to pursue a project, our ACFOs work with our analysts to perform a financial feasibility analysis.”
For example, Castillo pointed to the recent decision to purchase rather than lease the organization’s current helicopter fleet.
“We completed our analysis and, working with leadership, made a collective decision to pursue the purchase,” Castillo said. “There may be other times when our finance team advises that a pathway being pursued is not ideal to our financial performance. Just as we did with the helicopter decision, we will work with leadership to make a collective decision balancing the interests of the organization’s overall mission.”
‘Here to help’
Every department at Michigan Medicine has a financial analyst assigned to it. That doesn’t mean they are fully involved in every budgetary or financial decision, but they are available to advise if needed.
“Some departments just want us to check in periodically to make sure things are running smoothly, while others request a more hands-on approach,” Castillo said. “Each department carries out their work differently, so we’re here to help in whatever way we can.”
Being engaged in such a way allows the finance team to be better advisers and better decision-makers.
“Our work here is defined by the interests and needs of leadership at the executive level, all the way down to individual departments who are focused on carrying out Michigan Medicine’s mission,” Castillo said. “If we help them make the best decisions possible, then we’ve done our job.”
Stay tuned to Headlines next week for a closer look at the finance leadership team!
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