Reporting Practices and Ethics
· Find two or three articles that address financial reporting practices and ethical standards in health care finance, including the following topics:
o Generally accepted accounting principles
o Corporate compliance, ethics, or fraud and abuse
o Include a summary of the four elements of financial management.
o Include a summary of generally accepted accounting practices and general financial ethical standards.
o Provide examples from the articles that reflect ethical standards of conduct and financial reporting practices.
o Explain the significance of each example.
By the sheer fact that patients and their families are at their most vulnerable when trying to attain quality healthcare, the demand for financial honesty and integrity from the healthcare organization, and its leaders, is at its highest. These healthcare financial executives, CEO and CFO, are the final points of authority on the organizations financial statements and, like a judge in a high level trial, are the final arbiter on all financial matters concerning the organization. Based upon the persistent scrutiny financial statements receive the pressure experienced by these top executives is intense. If the financial performance of an organization declines, the current management team looks bad and if the financial covenants are not met as agreed, an organization's bond rating could be downgraded leaving fewer options for low-cost capital and other financially devastating ramifications. All these external pressures can, at times, bring about integrity and ethics checks to make the books look better.
To assist in fending off the urges to breach personal and professional convictions for the sake of positive financial reporting, major professional organizations have created ethics guidelines to provide direction for the financial executives in the proper presentation of financial information. Contained within the Executive's Code of Ethics produced by the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) are the following urgings, "report negative financial and other information promptly and accurately, and initiate appropriate action" and "prevent fraud and abuse and aggressive accounting practices that may result in disputable financial reports" (ACHE website, 2010). This code of ethics directs its members to strive for the objective and fair presentation of all financial information and to promote the highest standard of professional conduct in the execution of their ...
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