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Updated: November 27, 2023 / 2023 Champions of Health Care

Champions of Health Care: Hutt strengthens providers’ financials in the shift to preventative care

A man with glasses in a suit stands in a hallway. PHOTO | Courtesy of AAFCPAs Matthew Hutt, partner at AAFCPAs, Inc.

As partner and healthcare division leader at Westborough accounting firm AAFCPAs, Matthew Hutt helps medical providers answer complicated questions. Healthcare providers, especially smaller ones, have difficulty thinking about long-term financial planning and navigating complex payment structures. That’s where Hutt and his team of tax professionals step in.

“When you’re in the middle of something, you’re not as objective as you should be. Sometimes you need someone from outside your organization to tell you what they really think,” Hutt said. “Sometimes it’s just being there for them as things come up.”

Hutt joined AAFCPAs in 1991. As leader of the healthcare division, he advises medical providers on coordinating care, including integrating behavioral health with the overall delivery system. Carla McCall, managing partner at AAFCPAs, said Hutt is a wealth of information.

A bio box for Matthew Hutt
Matthew Hutt bio box

“Our core values are about community service and giving back; it’s all about the client at the center of everything we do. He has embodied that since he walked through the doors,” McCall said. “He stands out as someone with genuine care for his clients, the industry, and the community and is always trying to help them be better in order to think creatively about business.”

Hutt said he wanted to work with the healthcare industry because of the critical need it provides to the community.

“In the Worcester area in particular, there are patients who don’t have health insurance, who are underinsured, or who don’t have enough providers in their communities,” he said. “By helping health organizations become stronger, they can provide more services to medically underserved areas where there’s not a lot of access to care.”

In late 2017, MassHealth began a new accountable care organization (ACO) program, reimbursing providers based on community healthcare outcomes. Hutt is at the forefront of changes in healthcare, McCall said, and he worked with MassHealth, the Community Care Cooperative, and the Mass League of Community Health Centers as the ACO program developed. After it rolled out, he spent a significant amount with different agencies, whether they were clients or not, to help them understand what the change meant for them.

The shift to an ACO program was a change for agencies, Hutt said.

“It’s a real shift because if you go back to the 1990s, we told our clients, ‘It’s volume right. You want to make sure doctors are very productive, because that’s how you increase revenue.’ Now with the revenue cycle, it’s not volume, it’s patient panels, understanding community, understanding monitoring services. It’s a big change,” he said. “It’s good in the long run, because the goal is to have better quality of care, and keeping people healthy is the primary focus. It’s helped move them towards a more preventive type of care. But it’s a big shift.”

Helping clients transitioning to an ACO involved more documentation and having systems in place for monitoring and reporting, Hutt said.

Hutt provided pro bono assistance to agencies during COVID-19. For many healthcare providers, the pandemic was the first time they worked with federal funding. To stay informed, Hutt said he read guidance as it was released daily and adjusted as things changed.

“There were monies that were available to be spent, but it was teaching them, ‘Before I take this money, how am I going to document it and spend it on the right things?’” he said. “They would be audited in the future, so it was about understanding what the rules are, and teaching and providing guidance.”

Looking forward, Hutt said helping healthcare firms turn a profit is at the top of his mind. Agencies can benefit from diversifying revenue sources by adding things like pharmacy services. He wants to help clients think about the big picture when they’re in the daily trenches.

Whatever the healthcare industry faces in the future, McCall said she knows Hutt will be there helping shape it.

“He’s a thought leader in the industry. He’s super super smart, and he can just take that knowledge and translate it to everyday language,” she said.

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November 29, 2023

Matt is a true professional in his work. Thoughtful and thorough. Congrats to him and his colleagues at AAFCPAs. - Jim Hunt , Retired President of the Mass League of Community Health Centers

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