Brian Sherry
Stern Strategy Group

Brad Dennison

IMA and HFMA Release Report on Cost Management in Healthcare

Recommendations aim to help accounting and finance professionals modernize data analysis and strategic insight generation

Montvale, N.J., May 23, 2023 — As the complexities faced by one of the largest and most essential industries continue to rise, IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants) and the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA), today released “Cost Management in Healthcare: Status Quo and Opportunities.” The joint report acknowledges the challenges, identifies opportunities, and presents actionable recommendations for accounting and finance leaders to help healthcare institutions improve quality while lowering costs.

Through roundtable discussions with 20 leaders in financial management, accounting, and analytics roles, IMA and HFMA sought to examine the role of management accounting in the U.S. healthcare industry. The resulting report reveals a growing business demand for the finance function to deliver greater value through efficient data analysis and strategic insight generation with recommendations on how to prepare teams to meet current and future demands.

“Many healthcare providers are focused on developing value-based care models and other risk arrangements, causing a challenge on the finance side,” said Richard Gundling, CMA, FHFMA, senior vice president of professional practice at HFMA. “However, for providers to deliver value in healthcare, they must have accurate, actionable data on the two elements driving the value equation: quality of the care delivered and cost of providing the care. Our report offers key recommendations on how institutions can link quality and cost metrics to quantify the value of care provided.”

To achieve optimal financial and value outcomes for healthcare institutions, the research shows how healthcare’s finance function can upskill its workforce to become analytical thinkers, bolster data accessibility and integration for strategic decision-making, and contribute to the advancement of health equity.

“Strained resources and limited adoption of advanced technologies and data analytics tools continue to cause prevailing challenges for healthcare institutions,” said Loreal Jiles, vice president of research and thought leadership at IMA. “However, championing modernization can enable institutions to collect insights based on real-time data, support the resolution of complex issues across business lines from an analytical perspective, and use financial data for cross-functional collaborations.”

The accounting and finance function continues to play an increasingly pivotal role as the healthcare industry progressively shifts toward value-based delivery. As such, finance teams must modernize current cost practices to meet the demanding industry needs of quality, value and low cost.

For more information, visit: 

About IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants)

IMA® is one of the largest and most respected associations focused exclusively on advancing the management accounting profession. Globally, IMA supports the profession through research, the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) and CSCA® (Certified in Strategy and Competitive Analysis) programs, continuing education, networking, and advocacy of the highest ethical business practices. Twice named Professional Body of the Year by The Accountant/International Accounting Bulletin, IMA has a global network of about 140,000 members in 150 countries and 350 professional and student chapters. Headquartered in Montvale, N.J., USA, IMA provides localized services through its four global regions: The Americas, Asia/Pacific, Europe and Middle East/India. For more information about IMA, please visit

About HFMA (Healthcare Financial Management Association)

HFMA equips its more than 100,000 members nationwide to navigate a complex healthcare landscape. Finance professionals in the full range of work settings, including hospitals, health systems, physician practices, and health plans, trust HFMA to provide the guidance and tools to help them lead their organizations, and the industry, forward. HFMA is a not-for-profit, nonpartisan organization that advances healthcare by collaborating with other key stakeholders to address industry challenges and providing guidance, education, practical tools and solutions, and thought leadership. We lead the financial management of healthcare. For more information about HFMA, please visit