Richard HumphreyFebruary 8, 2013 11:19 AM
Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth
Richard Humphrey was born in 1962 at Harris Methodist Hospital while his father attended Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He didn’t see his birthplace again until 2009 when he became vice president and CFO of Texas Health Harris Methodist Fort Worth – the largest hospital in what is now the Texas Health Resources System.
Humphrey, then CFO of a South Carolina health care system, said it was “a godsend” that he noticed a Harris job posting online as he and his son shopped for a computer.
But he believes that his Air Force background, math aptitude and experience rescuing financially troubled health systems brought him to Harris.
After earning an accounting degree, Humphrey followed his grandfather and father into the military.
Commissioned a 2nd lieutenant, Humphrey graduated No. 1 in an advanced navigation school. He navigated a B-52 bomber on worldwide operational deployments, then instructed navigators while earning an MBA. He left the Air Force as a captain.
Over the years, Humphrey earned five certifications, including public accountant and health care financial professional, that prepared him for his dream job in health care finance.
“It was very appealing to me to work for a hospital and be part of patient care even though I was providing financial leadership,” he said. “That was my movement into health care. I never looked back.”
For 13 years, Humphrey oversaw finances at five southern health care facilities, including two years as vice president
He believes his financial turnaround of two health care systems landed him at Harris, where he also oversees Azle and Cleburne hospitals and Texas Health Specialty, a long-term acute care facility.
Humphrey says Harris had operating income of $28 million, $41 million and $47 million in 2010, 2011 and 2012, respectively. The hospital had lost $11 million in 2008 and $6 million in 2009.
He says CFOs must take more active roles to meet Medicare and insurance demands for better patient care.
“They want to be an active payer,” he says. “They are now linking payments to quality.”
Humphrey says he recently oversaw creation of a lower price package for 3D mammograms not covered by insurance.
“That’s a small example of what I do and what I find rewarding in my job,” he says.
Senior Vice President Lillie Biggins says Humphrey educates staff about the relationship between profitability and patient care.
“Rick is an effective communicator who relays financial information in a way our staff can understand,” she says. “He is a leader by example and an expert with a servant’s heart.”
What is the best piece of financial advice you’ve ever received?
Surround yourself with the best people you can find,
support them and let them do their job.
What books/publications do you read to stay ahead in your industry?
Health Care Financial Management Association publications and books on leadership, including Good To Great by Jim Collins and 21 Irrefutable Laws Of Leadership by John C. Maxwell.
Who would you say is your hero/someone you look up to, and why?
My father. As a child, his goal was to become a general in the Army. After West Point, he was on track toward his goal when he became a born-again Christian during paratrooper school at Fort Benning, Ga. After fulfilling his commission, he resigned and pursued a pathway of service as a Southern Baptist pastor and later as an evangelist spreading the gospel of Christ. He’s my hero because he gave up his lifetime dream to follow a higher calling and remained faithful to that calling for the remainder of his life. I look up to him because he walked the walk. He taught me through example.