Meet the mind behind the healthcare CFO mind map


How will this year’s healthcare CFO mind map reflect the new challenges facing healthcare finance leaders?

What do you remember from last year’s Crowe Healthcare Summit in Denver? Ideally, you remember all the insights and practical advice from each keynote address, educational session, roundtable discussion, boot camp, and networking event on how to improve the financial performance of your hospital, health system, or medical practice.

But if you remember only one thing from last year’s Summit, it probably was the healthcare CFO mind map.

Unveiled at the opening keynote of the 2022 Summit, the healthcare CFO mind map was the unexpected smash hit at the conference with attendees. The mind map visualized the business side of healthcare finance in terms of job responsibilities. The seven primary synapses inside the CFO’s mind were:

  • Accounting
  • Budgeting
  • Capital planning
  • Finance
  • Managed care
  • Revenue cycle
  • Taxes

Dozens of functions, tasks, and areas of responsibilities sparked along each of those seven main nerve endings in the CFO’s brain.

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Eric Boggs portrait

We talked with the creator of the healthcare CFO mind map, Eric Boggs. Eric is a principal in the Crowe healthcare consulting group and the mind behind the mind map. We asked him why the mind map was so popular with Summit attendees last year and what he has planned for this year’s Summit in Nashville, Tennessee.

Crowe: Eric, where did the idea for the healthcare CFO mind map come from?

Boggs: Our position is that we aim to simplify the business of healthcare. So, we thought, why don’t we do something at Summit that categorizes all the different jobs to be done to tee up all the other sessions? How can we simplify all these different jobs to be done? It’s less about the healthcare CFO than it is all the different jobs to be done, but the healthcare CFO is the captain of the ship on the business side.

Crowe: Were you surprised at the reaction to and interest in the mind map from Summit attendees?

Boggs: We were surprised. We were overwhelmed by the response and by how many people wanted a copy of the visual right after the keynote and throughout the rest of Summit.

Crowe: Why do you think the response was so overwhelming? Is it the first time someone teased out all the different jobs to be done by a healthcare CFO? Or maybe it’s the first time someone put it all down in one place?

Boggs: Based on the feedback I got from talking to people at Summit, there were a variety of reasons. People said, “I’ve had a lot of this stuff in my head on all these various things, but no one’s ever really put it into a visual like a subway map.” Others said, “I aspire to be a CFO one day. I need to understand the roles and responsibilities that I’m going to have to handle.” Some folks said, “I really want to share this with my leadership team to help them understand all the jobs that we’re trying to get done around here.” Some said they wanted to share it with their clinical staff to help them understand what happens on the business side and why it’s important for them to get their clinical documentation done well so they can get paid for what they do.

Crowe: What was the benefit to the Crowe healthcare consulting group?

Boggs: For us, it was helping us understand what client pain points we should focus on. We’re trying to understand all the jobs they do. We’re trying to understand what unmet needs they have. We’re trying to understand if, where, and how they use data. It was putting all that in one place to help us ask those questions of the organizations we work with and want to work with. We also had a number of vendors download it to help them improve their products.

Crowe: A month or so after Summit, you posted the healthcare CFO mind map on as a downloadable PDF. How many downloads did you get?

Boggs: From November 2022 through March 2023, we’ve had more than 200 downloads.

Crowe: A lot has happened in healthcare since last September, as it always does in healthcare. Are you working on an updated version of the healthcare CFO mind map? If so, will you present that at this year’s Summit?

Boggs: Yes and yes.

Crowe: Can you give us a sneak preview?

Boggs: No. It’s only May, and a lot can happen over the next four months. You know healthcare. What I can tell you based on the feedback we got and on what’s happening in the industry, you can expect the next iteration of the healthcare CFO mind map discussion to reflect digital transformation, health system consolidation, cash management, inflation, rising labor expenses, supply chain disruptions and shortages, payor behaviors, and other challenges. A lot of people were in survival mode for 2022, and the mind map narrative reflected that. This year the question is how do we go on offense? This year’s mind map will reflect that change in direction.

Crowe: You mentioned how important it is to understand how healthcare organizations use data. Will this year’s mind map reflect that?

Boggs: We have the data to help healthcare organizations with most of the jobs to be done on the first mind map. We want to identify other jobs to be done that we can support with data. My hope is we can someday visually and figuratively augment the healthcare CFO in the middle of the mind map with a data lake. That’s where strategic organizations want to go. The data drives every decision to be made by the CFO along each of the synapses on the mind map.

Crowe: What about artificial intelligence? Where does AI fit in?

Boggs: Well, we assume the mind map is visualizing a human brain. Maybe in the future, the brain becomes a computer, the computer recommends data-driven decisions to humans, and jobs to be done are automated. Human-machine collaboration, right? But we always need the insights before we should automate a task or function. Like my colleague Melissa Dill likes to say, "no random acts of automation."

Crowe: How will you unveil this year’s version of the healthcare CFO mind map at Summit?

Boggs: We will have a booth at the Innovation Hub at Summit. I’ll be there in person to hand out hard copies, discuss the mind map with attendees, and, most importantly, get feedback for the next iteration of the mind map.

Crowe: Will there be any surprises when they see it?

Boggs: Let’s just say last year’s mind map didn’t say anything about the patient experience.

Crowe: Thanks, Eric.

Boggs: Thank you.


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