Financial Forecasting and Stochastic Modeling: Predicting the Impact of Business Decisions
Geoffrey D. Rubin, MD, MBA, Bhavik N. Patel, MD, MBA
In health care organizations, effective investment of precious resources is critical to assure that the organization delivers high-quality and sustainable patient care within a supportive environment for patients, their families, and the health care providers. This holds true for organizations independent of size, from small practices to large health systems. For radiologists whose role is to oversee the delivery of imaging services and the interpretation, communication, and curation of imaging-informed information, business decisions influence where and how they practice, the tools available for image acquisition and interpretation, and ultimately their professional satisfaction. With so much at stake, physicians must understand and embrace the methods necessary to develop and interpret robust financial analyses so they effectively participate in and better understand decision making. This review discusses the financial drivers upon which health care organizations base investment decisions and the central role that stochastic financial modeling should play in support of strategically aligned capital investments. Given a health care industry that has been slow to embrace advanced financial analytics, a fundamental message of this review is that the skills and analytical tools are readily attainable and well worth the effort to implement in the interest of informed decision making.