A look at the people behind the numbers in area business:


Todd Ostendorf

North Memorial Health Care

Title: Chief financial officer

Age: 46


Todd Ostendorf is working to help North Memorial Health Care control costs while improving access and outcomes as the new chief financial officer of the Robbinsdale-based nonprofit organization, which operates North Memorial Medical Center, Maple Grove Hospital and a network of other providers. With those ends in mind, he said, he’s focusing on strengthening and expanding relationships with health plans and physician partners and forging a deeper collaboration internally between North Memorial’s medical and financial units.

“A key goal is integrating medical management with financial management to control costs without compromising quality and really driving an understanding of the financial metrics throughout the organization,” he said.

Pressure to reduce health care costs is coming from several sources, he said, including changing reimbursement rates under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), needs of the senior population and the increasing prevalence of chronic diseases.

He was CFO of UnitedHealth Group’s Evercare and Inspiris businesses, which provide care for chronically ill patients and hospice care. “We directly employed health care providers to help manage care and ensure those positive outcomes, and we were really successful at eliminating unnecessary costs and ensuring high quality,” he said. Before moving into health care, he worked in corporate at Best Buy and Supervalu. He has an MBA from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management.


Q: How is North Memorial responding to the ACA?

A: North Memorial Health Care is focusing a great deal of effort on building out its network of primary care physicians, through expansion of owned clinics or greater collaboration with affiliated physicians. Reform also presents the organization with unique opportunities to partner with local health plans to offer exclusive membership opportunities in low-cost health plans if those participants are committed to receiving their care exclusively from North Memorial or affiliated providers.


Q: Has your retail experience influenced your health care work?

A: When you think about a primary care network providing convenient access to people in the communities we serve, there’s a very similar retail flavor to it. Whether you’re operating a retail entity or a primary care clinic, it’s all about the patient experience and trying to provide something that’s meaningful for people coming into one of our facilities.


Q: What appeals to you about the health care industry?

A: What I most appreciate is at the end of every day, I leave my office knowing that the organization I work for made a profound impact on the lives of so many.

Todd Nelson