Numbers always came easy for Mark Hartman.
Growing up in Conway County, Hartman said, being an accountant “seemed like the right thing to do.” So he attended the University of Central Arkansas to become one.
Hartman, 49, is the senior vice president for finance and treasurer for the Arkansas Heart Hospital in Little Rock.
He came to the hospital in 2003 as the CFO, when the majority owner was MedCath Corp. of Charlotte, N.C. He said that when he arrived, “things were good and they were solid.”
In June 2010, Hartman was named the interim CEO and kept his CFO duties. It was during this time that MedCath decided to sell its 70.3 percent stake in the 110-bed hospital to AR-MED LLC, a group owned by Dr. Bruce Murphy and the Little Rock Cardiology Clinic.
Hartman navigated the sale, which he said was one of his proudest accomplishments at the hospital. “During that process, I was still working for MedCath, and so I had a role there of supporting them in the sale,” Hartman said.
At the same time, Hartman had to supply the buyers with financial figures from the hospital as well as other projections. The $65 million deal closed in August 2011.
Since Hartman arrived at the Heart Hospital, revenue has been growing. For the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, 2010, the hospital, which has about 100 employees, reported $117.8 million in patient revenue and a net income of $10.9 million. A year later, it had $129 million in patient revenue and a net income of $16.4 million.
Hartman said what motivates him is never being satisfied with previous results.
“I tend to think we can always do better,” he said. “It’s kind of a philosophy around this hospital, and I guess that’s a reason I’ve meshed as well as I have here.
“We’re never quite satisfied with where we’ve been,” he said.
Away from the Heart Hospital, Hartman is a board member of the American Heart Association Central Arkansas Chapter and a member of the Red Tie Society in Little Rock, which was formed to fight heart disease. He also is the past president of the Arkansas chapter of the Healthcare Financial Management Association of Westchester, Ill.
Before joining the Arkansas Heart Hospital, Hartman was the CFO for Helena Regional Medical Center, Chicot Memorial Hospital and Delta Regional Medical Center.
He started his accounting career in 1985 at the public accounting firm then called Jack Frost & Co. in Little Rock, where a lot of his clients were in the health care industry.
“So it really became a natural transition,” Hartman said. “I made the jump and haven’t looked back since.”