Handbook of Healthcare Management
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Handbook of Healthcare Management

Edited by Myron D. Fottler, Donna Malvey and Donna J. Slovensky

The Handbook of Healthcare Management is a comprehensive examination of key management practices for global healthcare organizations, arguing that insight into and implementation of these practices is essential for success and sustainability.
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Chapter 18: Healthcare insurance and finance

Dean G. Smith


Research on the theory and practice of healthcare insurance and finance has the potential to guide organizations towards more accurate reporting, improved financial decision-making and higher levels of performance. If healthcare organizations in the United States are to apply evidence-based management practices in the area of healthcare insurance and finance, creation and utilization of a research base is profoundly important (Finkler et al., 2003). Textbooks and the professional literature provide adequate guidance to management for many aspects of routine reporting and analysis (Gapenski and Pink, 2013; Smith, 2014). It is less clear that managers have adequate evidence for decision-making for non-routine analyses. Unlike evidence-based medicine, there is not a large cohort of scientists looking to publish results on the management of healthcare insurance and finance. This chapter provides an outline of selected healthcare insurance and financial management topics, with an indication of recent research and directions for future research that will provide managers with the needed evidence base for their work. The lack of research and the gap between research and the needs of practice are not unique to healthcare insurance and finance. In the closely related field of public sector accounting there is a notable gap between research and practice (van Helden and Northcott, 2010). Some three-quarters of research in public sector accounting is aimed at understanding motivations behind the adoption and use of management accounting techniques.

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