New Survey Shows Providers Overwhelmed with Their Software

24 Oct, 2022 F.J. Thomas

                               

Sarasota, FL (WorkersCompensation.com) – With the high rate of burnout in healthcare, along with labor shortages, healthcare is struggling to keep up with the demand of treating patients and remaining compliant with ever changing rules and regulations. According to a new report from Bain & Company with the help of KLAS Research, healthcare providers are focusing on revenue cycle management software as a top five priority in the coming year. In addition to revenue cycle management, providers are focusing on ways to streamline patient intake, and shore up cybersecurity.

According to a follow up study in 2021 by Stanford University, healthcare has seen an enormous increase in the use of AI for everything from risk scoring to assessing measurements for a diagnosis, as well as reading images in record time. Additionally, the finance industry has adopted AI strategies for not only payments but decision making as well.

As per the Bain & Company survey, during COVID-19, larger organizations with more resources accelerated their spending on IT investments with a focus on telehealth, clinical systems and decision support. On the other hand, smaller mostly rural organizations with tight budgets backed off spending and now find themselves playing catch up. Within the last year, 45 percent of providers polled had increased their IT spending, and only 10 percent had decreased their expense dollars.

Of those that had increased their software spending, 80 percent stated the changes were due to labor shortages, inflation concerns, or leadership changes in their organization. While software spending is a top five priority for the 80 percent of the providers polled, 40 percent considered software as a top 3 priority, with national health systems and home health as the majority.

Ninety-five percent of the providers polled stated they will be investing in new software, and one third indicated those investments were significant. Thirty-five percent stated that the goal was to pursue productivity and efficiency improvements in an effort to address minimal cost margins and labor issues. Around 30 percent stated they would spend less than they would in more favorable conditions.

Of the top five concerns, revenue cycle ranked first at 50 percent, followed by a tie at 44 percent each for security and patient intake. Clinical systems ranked third at 40 percent, and telehealth at 36 percent.

When broken out by provider type, the focus was uniquely different. For instance, for national health systems, telehealth was the most important priority. For community and mental health, regional health systems, and local health systems or freestanding hospitals, the top priority was cybersecurity. The top priority for large physician groups listed revenue cycle as the top priority, and home health listed business analytics as their top focus.

According to the poll, 50 percent of providers are struggling with navigating the search for software, citing being overwhelmed by choices, but also having a hard time keeping up with the market due to their existing tech’s complexity keeping them busy. Around 72 percent of the providers polled stated they would review their current vendors before reviewing new opportunities. Additionally, around 71 percent stated they would look at their current electronic medical record systems before attempting to integrate new technology. Sixty-three percent indicated that they had plans to streamline their existing technical set up.

Some of the reasons given for revenue cycle focus was revenue integrity, charge capture, and complex claims. If provider organizations are already overwhelmed with their existing software systems, are struggling with experienced staffing shortages, and are implementing AI type systems to automate certain functions within the revenue cycle, one has to question the quality of the oversight at implementation, as well as in the audit phase. Additionally, what will the ultimate outcome be for not only patients but insurance carriers as well?

In light of the AI trend, it will be interesting to see how the healthcare world will handle the transitions from patient arrival to receiving payment.

 


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    About The Author

    • F.J. Thomas

      F.J. Thomas has worked in healthcare business for more than fifteen years in Tennessee. Her experience as a contract appeals analyst has given her an intimate grasp of the inner workings of both the provider and insurance world. Knowing first hand that the industry is constantly changing, she strives to find resources and information you can use.

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