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Nursing Resource Allocation

Management accounting is that which addresses the internal information requirements for financial planning, control, and decision-making. Healthcare executives are the ones who have the responsibility to plan, implement, and report the use of organizations resources in line with an established mission and the resultant strategic plan. It is then the responsibility of the governing board or owners to review the plans and the reported results so as to be certain that the set mission of their healthcare organization is being met.

A financial decision is considered efficient if its benefits exceed its costs. Healthcare organizations, therefore, must be in a position to identify measure and evaluate the costs and benefits that are associated with a particular kind of decisions. Such decisions fall into two types generally: long-range decisions, which entail the replacement or addition of long-term capacity, and short range decisions which entail the employment of an existing capacity over a short period of time, which is usually a year or less. The requirements of the information and the criteria for making the long-range decisions and that of making short-range decisions are very different. Hospitals and various healthcare organizations have used accrual accounting for a long time. Various ambulatory care groups and physicians have for a long time used cash basis accounting. In this form of accounting, revenue recognition is after cash is collected, and recognition of expenses is after the cash is paid.

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As healthcare delivery systems are becoming organized, they are acquiring these accounting methods, with physicians changing from cash to accrual based accounting so as to be consistent with the rest of the accounting principles in the system. A considerable segment of the healthcare industry still employs the cash based accounting, however, and the executive of any organized healthcare delivery system should be privy to both types of statements. It is, therefore, clear that the executive is charged with the responsibility for the decisions execution and evaluation.