Dr. Charlene Spiceland Accepted for Publication in Two Forthcoming Journals

For release:  January 21, 2015

Dr. Charlene Spiceland, of the School of Accountancy, recently had two articles accepted in forthcoming journals. Her first article is entitled, “Using a Course Redesign to Address Retention and Performance Issues in Introductory Accounting,” and it will be published in the Journal of Accounting Education. The article was co-authored with two other Fogelman College faculty members, Dr. David Spiceland a professor in the School of Accountancy, and Dr. Sandy Schaeffer of the MIS department.

This article describes how one accounting program addressed declining retention rates and student performance issues with a focused course redesign of its introductory financial accounting course. The course redesign unites (a) the notion of promoting a thorough comprehension of “core competencies” rather than providing a cursory acquaintance with a broader variety of less critical ancillary topics; (b) an assortment of “continual review” techniques designed to maximize retaining the in-depth knowledge attained; and (c) utilization of a variety of stimulating and effectual technological enhancements to engage students and foster an active learning environment in the course. Anecdotal evidence gathered and limited empirical analysis suggested that the redesign endeavors increased performance, enhanced student retention, and stimulated growth in the number of accounting majors relative to enrollment growth in the college of business. Their paper indicated that this approach, or any of several variants, could be adopted by other accounting programs to address similar issues. With many institutions currently facing declining enrollments and student retention along with accompanying financial consequences, their research provides a timely potential remedy.

Dr. Charlene Spiceland’s second article that was accepted for publication is entitled, “Linking Healthcare Quality to the Bottom Line: What Do We Know?” and it will be published in the International Journal of Management Accounting Research. The article was co-authored with Dr. David Spiceland and Phil Njoroge, a Ph.D. candidate in the FCBE School of Accountancy.

This article considers whether the quality of healthcare that a hospital provides is associated with cost efficiency and profitability and, if this relationship exists, whether the relationship varies between for-profit and nonprofit hospitals. Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will link hospital payments with improvements in patient care.  This study explores empirically whether high quality hospitals are also those that are operationally efficient. The procedures used are applied to hospital-level quality data downloadable from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) website and hospital data from California and Washington. Quality is measured using metrics designed to proxy the actual quality metrics defined by the PPACA and to be used in determining hospital payments. This study is the first to proxy the quality metrics CMS will use to pay hospitals and also the relationship of this metric with cost efficiency and profitability. The study found that a relationship does exist between the quality of healthcare and both cost efficiency and profitability. The results also showed that this relationship holds for both nonprofit and for-profit hospitals. These findings are particularly timely due to the implementation of the new payment method to hospitals and the hospital managers’ uncertainty regarding the new quality measures and their financial considerations. The implications also are implicitly meaningful to other stakeholders including the communities that the hospitals serve.

Additionally, Dr. Charlene Spiceland served as the 2014 American Accounting Association Teaching and Learning Section Coordinator. She has been invited to speak at the Southeast Regional Meeting of the American Accounting Association (CTLA) on April 17, 2015. Dr. Spiceland also has been appointed Chair of the Law Committee of the Tennessee State Board of Accountancy on which she serves.