American Association for Physician Leadership

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About the course

Gain the knowledge and skills to turn financial mysteries into useful tools by enrolling in Techniques of Financial Decision-Making. The course focuses on operations and investment, and the integration of financial principles. Physician leaders will explore the basic principles of finance along with the mechanical skills of financial tools. The curriculum will demonstrate ways to budget and manage costs, and show physician leaders how to make practical investments for short- and long-term goals in a competitive marketplace.

Topics include:

  • Productivity and performance enhancement
  • The difference between accounting and finance
  • The budgeting process
  • The cost of capital
  • Creating competitive value

Course Objectives

  • Interpret financial statements to determine what they say about the economic health of your organization.
  • Define the basic types of financial ratios and their uses to interpret financial statements.
  • Identify the economic principles used to conceptualize a health care delivery organization, and the relationships between the private sector organization, whether for-profit or nonprofit, and the capital markets in which it functions.
  • Explore the basic concepts behind and relationships among opportunity costs, (required) rate-of-returns and costs-of-capital.
  • Discuss the significance of cost analysis as it relates to the economics of services.
  • Apply knowledge of cost structure and behavior to critical budgeting tools.
  • Describe the basic concepts and mechanics of present value (including annuities) and net present value as tools for analyzing competing (alternative) uses of scarce organizational resources.
  • Explain why present value tools are superior to conventional approaches for analyzing resource allocation decisions.
  • Articulate the advantages of incremental analysis over aggregate analysis, and differences of operational cash flows from capital (financing) cash flows.
  • Mobilize relevant costs to aid decision analyses in different economic risk payment environments; i.e., the shift in payment from volume-centric to value-centric, extending into assessment of Population Health ROI.

Method of Participation

  • To complete this program successfully and claim credit, participants must follow these steps:
  • Read the educational objectives provided on the course summary page.
  • Attend the sessions or watch all the video lectures for this course (if applicable).
  • Read any course materials and complete any required activities.
  • Complete the course evaluation and post-test via your dashboard on the Association website. Successful completion of a given activity's post-test requires a minimum 75% passing score prior to claiming CME credit, with three attempts allowed.
  • CME certificates will be available for printing after claiming CME credit.
  • Estimated time for course completion is equivalent to the CME credit hours.


  • Planner Disclosure: The planners (American Association for Physician Leadership® staff) for this activity have no relevant financial relationships with commercial interests to disclose.
  • Faculty Disclosure: The faculty for this activity have no relevant financial relationships with commercial interests to disclose.|


The American Association for Physician Leadership® is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing education for physicians.


The American Association for Physician Leadership® designates this enduring material for a maximum of 24 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s) ™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

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