Hospital CFO: Beth Lutes, Ozarks Community Hospital

Hospital CFO: Beth Lutes, Ozarks Community Hospital
Beth Lutes • CFO, Ozarks Community Hospital | Gravette

While in high school, Beth Lutes began working in the business office at a hospital and didn’t leave.

That was 30 years ago. Lutes said she stayed at the facility, which is now known as Ozarks Community Hospital of Gravette, “because I really enjoyed what I did and I enjoyed the people I worked with.”

The 25-bed hospital system has about 650 employees and 14 health care clinics in southwest Missouri and northwest Arkansas.

The challenges Lutes faces as CFO include the changing financial side of health care, especially with COVID-19. “You have to stay up on what the government is releasing every day and the billing changes and the reporting changes,” she said.

Born in Springfield, Missouri, Lutes said COVID has been the focus of everyone in hospital finance. But during the pandemic, the hospital system didn’t have to lay off any staff members. Instead, it awarded raises. “We didn’t want to lose our staff,” Lutes said. “Your organization is only as good as the staff that you have.”

Her management philosophy is to let people know what’s expected of them and not to micromanage. Lutes likes to give feedback for large and small projects. “I feel like there’s no task too small to deserve recognition,” she said.

Lutes graduated from Drury University in Springfield, Missouri, with a bachelor’s degree in science in 2004.

She is a fellow of the Healthcare Financial Management Association.

Lutes said she believes in Ozarks Community Hospital’s mission, which includes a commitment to care for the underserved and to improve access to care. She said she also wants to make sure that “the people I’ve worked with all these years continue to have employment because as a rural health system it’s a struggle to stay open.”

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