AAHPM — Spring Quarterly
AAHPM Remains Strong, Invests in the Future
Serving as the Academy’s treasurer is a little bit like riding a roller coaster. As you approach the position, it seems a bit daunting. However, once you climb onboard it’s actually an interesting and invigorating ride. There are a few ups and downs along the way—some of these are anticipated, others are difficult to see coming. In the end, you realize you enjoyed the journey and want to ride again. For me, that means agreeing to serve a second term in 2012.
As treasurer I chair the Academy’s Finance Committee, which oversees budget, audit, and investment activities; reviews and presents monthly financial statements and metrics to the board; and works closely with our management team to monitor revenues, expenses, and reserves. I am pleased to report that the Academy headed into 2012 in continued good financial health, and it promises to be a prosperous year.
Overall, AAHPM generated $4,718,589 in revenue during fiscal year 2011 and has maintained operating/strategic reserves of more than 6 months. The Academy’s membership climbed to nearly 4,400, generating $1,458,976 in dues revenue, approximately $128,000 ahead of last year. And although attendance was down from the record-setting meeting in Boston the year before, the Annual Assembly in Vancouver attracted nearly 1,800 physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals from more than 16 countries. Net income from the conference totaled $81,062.
The Academy’s revamped Hospice Medical Director Course moved to Grapevine, TX, to reduce costs for both AAHPM and participants and attracted more than 400 attendees. Although the course has yet to generate a profit, it was highly rated and provided a valuable educational experience to a key and growing member constituency.
Product sales continued at a brisk pace in 2011 as in recent years. Sales contributed $422,816, and additional product marketing efforts (eg, targeted mailings, ads, discounts) were employed in an effort to bolster sales throughout the year. Delayed release of the Hospice Medical Director Manual and AAHPM’s first-ever Physician Compensation and Benefits Survey Report—both new products in 2011—impacted total sales for the year. UNIPACs, HPM PASS, and other resources continued to sell well. Revenue associated with AAHPM’s online job board advertising totaling $181,266, ending the year with higher than anticipated revenue.
AAHPM was able to expand its public outreach efforts once again in 2011 by securing a grant from Purdue Pharma L.P. for $65,000. Some of these funds were used for crisis communication, message development, and a half-day media training session for Academy leaders held prior to the board’s strategic planning session. $24,600 of the grant will cover future grassroots advocacy initiatives and was deferred until 2012.
Another positive highlight in 2011 was The Hearst Foundations’ commitment of $1.2 million in funding for palliative medicine fellowship training programs over a 3-year period. In each of the 3 years, AAHPM will award up to ten 1-year, $37,750 Hearst Palliative Medicine Fellowship Grants to accredited fellowship programs that meet the award criteria.
Total operating revenue for 2011 was $4,718,589 (Figure 1). These figures will be reviewed as part of a final audit conducted by an independent certified public accountant retained by the Academy. Results will be presented to the Finance Committee and reviewed by the board in June. The total operating expenses for 2011 were $4,761,595. When totaled, the net operating loss for AAHPM for 2011 was $43,006. This loss was expected due to expenses associated with more than a dozen board-approved new or expanding programs throughout 2011, recommended by Strategic Coordinating Committees, designed to draw from reserves in order to better position the Academy and its members for the future. Programs supporting all five areas of the strategic plan were funded, including continued development of a hospice medical director certification program and a comprehensive leadership development program—both with anticipated launches in 2013.
In 2008 the board approved a plan to formally invest a portion of the Academy’s fund balance in more than just interest-bearing accounts. After careful consideration and consultation from professional investment advisors, AAHPM began slowly investing a portion of its fund balance (using a conservative investment strategy) in early 2009. Since that time, the investment portfolio has benefited from the market recovery and performed above most major indices (Figure 2). This is more good news for our growing organization. The fund balance and our investments continue to be managed with the assistance of our independent financial advisors, The Foster Group.
Despite a few twists and turns related to a volatile market and underperforming programs, AAHPM remains in a sound financial position and poised for future success guided by a bold new strategic plan. It is an honor and privilege to serve as your teasurer. I look forward to reporting positive results following a successful and profitable 2012.