South Florida Hospital News
Monday April 6, 2020
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February 2020 - Volume 16 - Issue 8

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FICPA Health Care Conference Tailored to CPAs

The Florida Institute of CPAs is a statewide association that hosts a variety of conferences specifically tailored to the needs of CPAs in the state, to give them the best educational opportunities. However, the Health Care Conference scheduled for April 24 – 25 at the Caribe Royale Hotel and Convention Center in Orlando may be one of the most vital.

Diane Major, manager of learning curriculum at FICPA, said, "The health care conference is particularly important because health care is an ever-changing environment; it's highly regulated, with a lot of changes – legislative changes – taking place on a regular basis." She added it's important for CPAs and other financial professionals in health care to receive targeted and up-to-date information expressly customized for them.
 
For that reason, Major said the conference will focus on legislative updates, being presented by Kathy Reep, vice president of financial services for the Florida Hospital Association; and information on breaking issues, like cannabis regulations in Florida. In addition, attention will be placed on technology, not only in health care, but also in all aspects of CPA work, cybersecurity, AI, robotics, data analytics – all of which is extremely important to CPAs.
 
With that in mind, Major said those who should be interested in attending the conference are any CPA or financial professional in the state who works primarily in a health care environment – whether in a hospital, a physician organization, health plan, insurance – because the sessions are a broad spectrum. "Some are tailored to public health care systems, some are tailored to hospitals – so we have a variety of content for a variety of medical and health care delivery opportunities."
 
Major also said that the conference may be particularly important to CPAs who are in mid-career, "because they're going to have to continue their practice for at least another 10 years. They're not going to retire tomorrow. And this information, as much as you may not want to learn it," she added with a chuckle, "is very critical to your success for the remainder of your career – that you have an understanding of it and are able to implement it; because these technological processes are going to change the fundamental way that CPAs conduct business."
 
On the other hand, Major said the conference is equally important for anyone who is a new CPA or financial professional to the health care system, because it will feature a boot camp that offers the basic fundamentals of what they need to know in a health care environment. "It's a two-part session, and it's always good to have the new folks in on the first day so they get a good understanding; and then they can attend the rest of the conference and get further insight into everything."
 
The conference will also feature case studies involving problems certain health systems faced. Major believes case studies are a good way to insert an entertainment component into real-life situations that are important, and are stories you can learn from as well. "We also have telehealth issues, and issues with how hospitals make mistakes with debt, M&A – not only from the hospital perspective, but also from the physician group perspective. So there are a wide variety of current and relevant topics."
 
Select sessions will be available through live streaming, and Major acknowledged that with the advent of podcasts and live streams, maintaining good, in-person attendance numbers at conferences can be challenging. However, she added that in-person attendance actually increased last year from previous years, and the exhibit hall was also sold out for the first time. "I think you just have a much greater degree of intimacy and an exchange of ideas at an in-person event. So I believe it's important that people do make the time to come to this conference, and especially because this is a once-a-year event, specifically tailored to this constituency."
 
She added that the networking component is highly rated, pointing out that there are core groups of people who are in the niche of CPA/finance work in health care, and this may be the only conference where they have the opportunity to network with each other for two days.
 
Major concluded, "The FICPA has really targeted putting on a high-quality conference designed specifically to the needs of our people in the state. As convenient as live streaming may be, nothing can take the place of a one-to-one, face-to-face, networking opportunity with your peers and with experts in the field."

 

For more information, call (480) 426-2583 or visit www.ficpa.org.

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