Al Allred, Comptroller
story by Kelly Harley photos by Tonya Perry
Al Allred serves as Effingham Health System’s (EHS) comptroller. With more than 30 years of experience in healthcare financial accounting, he’s taking a proactive approach when it comes to strengthening EHS’s financial leadership in the changing healthcare market.
“One of the greatest challenges facing the U.S. healthcare system is access to care,” says Allred. “EHS is a critical access hospital, which means it is the entry point into this system now being defined as an integrated population health model.” An integrated population health model is designed to improve the accessibility of care, quality and satisfaction, and reduce duplication of efforts and costs. An integrated population health model better integrates health and social care systems with other public services and the communities they serve. “The keys to providing quality patient care are collaboration and communication between the various healthcare services provided throughout the patients’ continuum of care,” says Allred.
One of EHS’s initiatives that focuses on better access to quality care, is a telemedicine health program, which is a collaborative effort between EHS and the Effingham County School System. The telemedicine program connects students and faculty at two local elementary schools directly with EHS physicians and healthcare professionals. “Thanks to this school-based telemedicine program, the school nurse can be connected to the EHS expert physicians and conduct an evaluation of the patient without leaving the school,” says Allred.
Due to the success of this program, the goal is to expand this service to all elementary schools. “This integrated program has provided the students and faculty (patients) access to healthcare they need when they need it, and in the setting of the school where they are,” says Allred.
“Healthcare has become a highly competitive business and healthcare organizations are asked to provide more services, but are being paid less for those services,” says Allred. “Under the direction of our chief executive officer (CEO), EHS has a very dynamic strategic vision and mission that is supported by the organization’s strong financial position.” Allred adds the strategic plan is supported by financially sound business practices that generate a positive contribution margin or, as they say, a positive bottom line. EHS is a non-profit organization which means the organization pays no corporate income tax. This allows EHS to reinvest the positive bottom line results back into the organization so that physicians and healthcare professionals can meet the healthcare needs of the patients and communities that EHS serves.
Allred began his career at EHS in 2017 and reports directly to the CEO. Allred is responsible for the daily operations of accounting, payroll, accounts receivable and accounts payable. He also oversees the preparation of monthly financial statements, as well as, the annual year-end audits, annual regulatory cost report filings and tax return preparation.
Allred is a certified public accountant, a Fellow with the Healthcare Financial Management Association, and a Fellow with the American College of Healthcare Executives. Prior to coming to EHS, he served as the vice president of Finance for a healthcare authority hospital in Southeast Florida.