The healthcare industry is in a constant state of evolution, especially as recovery efforts continue for COVID-19 and the lessons we have learned this past year are implemented. The healthcare industry now has an opportunity to pursue big opportunities that can have a lasting impact on the healthcare experience post-pandemic. Our team at Signature Performance has always prioritized staying on top of industry trends in order to be able to provide perspective and formulate the best solution possible for any administrative demand. A few of our industry experts were asked about trends within the industry that they feel have the opportunity to enhance the healthcare experience moving forward.
What Current Trend Do You Feel Has the Greatest Opportunity to Make a Positive Impact in Healthcare?
Allen Fredrickson: Chief Executive Officer and President
Trend: Utilizing Automation and Experience to Lower Healthcare Administrative Costs
The rate at which new technology is advancing in the healthcare industry, especially in the past year, is monumental. Particularly, utilizing automation can provide an effective solution to one of our biggest challenges in our healthcare system in the United States, rising healthcare administrative burden and costs. Automating complex administrative demands, such as claims processing via intelligent processes and people, will reduce the costly rework and revisiting of claims, ultimately saving time and money while improving the quality, access, and overall cost of care.
Karen Hudgins: Chief Operating Officer
Trend: Adopting Automation for Coding and Billing to Support New Healthcare Approaches
With many advances being made in virtual care this past year to accommodate safety restrictions brought on by the COVID-19 response, it is essential that the administrative demands that support these innovative care routes are efficiently documented for providers, payers, and patients. Adopting an automation service to ensure proper coding and billing practices is important now more than ever with new codes being added due to the pandemic and the increased usage of telehealth services. By approaching healthcare administrative demands in a forward thinking manner and ensuring they are properly supported for the utmost efficiency, providers and payers can focus on their area of expertise on a more in-depth level, workflows can be streamlined, and healthcare administrative costs can be reduced because costly reworking of denied or rejected claims can be avoided on a larger scale.
Craig Mason: Chief Innovation Officer
Trend: Implementing New Technology to Ease Physician Burnout
One of the biggest challenges in healthcare is balancing the need to reduce physician burnout and administrative efforts while increasing technology. With healthcare being an ever-changing industry, especially when it comes to compliance and reimbursement regulations, physicians can quickly begin to experience burnout symptoms due to the increasing burden of administrative demands. The many advancements in integrating artificial intelligence that have been made this past year have the ability to ease the complexities of administrative tasks for physicians. Between process automation, process mining, advanced analytics, and natural language processing, physicians can have the opportunity to spend more of their time providing patient-centered care. These advancements in technology not only benefit the well-being of physicians and their patients, but the efficiency at which administrative tasks can be completed can have a positive impact in lowering healthcare administrative costs in the United States.
Mark Mathia: Chief Experience Officer
Trend: Increase in Proactive and Personalized Patient Care
As the COVID-19 recovery process continues, a shift in how healthcare systems approach a patient’s care plan and experience is being propelled forward after important routine care was put on the back burner by many last year. With technology advancing everyday within the healthcare industry, options for proactive care are beginning to emerge now more than ever. This approach to care has an impact not only on patients, but it is also essential for their caregivers. As a caregiver to my father, I have experienced first-hand that proactive care is not only about anticipating a patient’s needs in order to avoid or minimize a major health event in the future, but it allows patients to have a better healthcare experience by giving them the opportunity to become more engaged with their care plan. Much like the increase in telehealth, proactive healthcare will be a component of the post pandemic healthcare experience that allows for a more personalized approach and a stronger outcome for patients and their families.
Chris Vairo: Chief of Staff
Trend: Increase in Automation Efforts
Technology has always played an important role in every facet of healthcare. However, the lightning-fast speed in which automated technology has evolved this past year has been a key component to providers and payers navigating new treatments and administrative tasks during COVID-19. Whether it is adopting telehealth services, managing patient data, or streamlining essential administrative demands, efficiently implemented automation services have the potential to not only lower healthcare costs and simplify the billing process, but can enhance the healthcare experience as a whole in the U.S. As the recovery process of COVID-19 continues, there is a real opportunity to learn from this past year to see where automation can begin to fill in the gaps within the healthcare industry that impact everyone.
Rick Pane: Chief Finance Officer
Trend: Hospitals Starting to Acquire Ambulatory Surgery Centers
As many hospitals continue to navigate the significant hit their revenue stream took during 2020, combined with the increased expenses associated with COVID-19 preparedness, many nonetheless continued to look strategically to the future. Continued improvements in technology and care patterns have created an opportunity for healthcare systems to expand outpatient care. Many are executing on this strategy through the acquisition of ambulatory surgery centers. With these surgery centers specializing in elective or same-day procedures, hospitals and technology leaders within the healthcare industry are beginning to recoup lost revenue and provide patients with a cost-effective alternative route of care. I hope this trend continues, as these ambulatory surgery centers not only offer an immense amount of convenience for patients, but they also provide an appreciable way to decrease healthcare costs in the U.S.
Stephanie Hyland is the Brand Experience Strategist at Signature Performance Inc., in Omaha, NE. Signature Performance is an industry leader in reducing healthcare administration costs for private and public healthcare sectors. Our unmatched experience in serving both the payer and provider side of healthcare financial management allows us to implement innovative solutions for every administrative demand.