23 Mar Healthcare – Change Is in the Air
Shawn Bezzant, Vice President of Marketing
If you are in healthcare in the United States, as a provider, health plan, vendor, or patient — you can feel change in the air. Headlines in the news signal that the status quo will not remain. How can it? The cost of healthcare in the United States currently exceeds $3 trillion dollars and represents almost 18% of the United States economy. If the current rate of spending growth continues, healthcare will take up more than 20% of the economy in the next five years. Administrative costs account for almost 40% of the healthcare’s total cost. (This is more than double the average administrative cost of comparable first-world countries.)
There is tremendous pressure to change the way healthcare works in the United States. The cost of care is impacting corporate profits, employee compensation and government expenditures. The federal government and private industry are beginning to push into areas traditionally managed by the healthcare industry.
Take a look at these headlines:
- Apple Will Open Medical Clinics for Its Employees This Spring
- Amazon “Poaches” 20 senior leaders from CVS, Express Scripts, UnitedHealth
- Azar: Trump Administration ‘Not Interested in Incremental Steps’ for Cost Reform
- Google Rolls out a New Tool to Help Health Providers Solve the Medical Record Mess
The pressure on healthcare providers and health plans to deliver quality care at lower cost has never been greater. Government, private industry and specialized think tanks are moving to come up with the “next generation” of healthcare delivery. Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JP Morgan recently announced that they are in the process of forming a new type of healthcare organization that will directly compete with the delivery model in practice today. Combine that with a federal government that is looking to restrain healthcare costs in response to an aging population, you have the recipe for monumental change.
How will the industry respond? Well, there are two real choices, innovate or die. The great advantage that those of us in the industry have is knowledge and experience. We know, because it is our job to know, where the system is broken. Currently, the collection of medical information and the medical release of information process is a heavy burden on providers and health plans. The amount of time, energy and resources required to collect information, securely store it, retrieve specific data and provide that data to authorized requesters is taking a toll on healthcare providers. Technology is the key to alleviate this burden — Information sharing and quality of care are the metrics that will matter in the coming years. Organizations that struggle to provide higher quality at lower cost will be consumed by more agile and effective organizations.
For those organizations that provide better patient care at a lower cost, the possibilities are endless. From artificial intelligence that is helping to improve diagnoses and design treatment, to personalized healthcare trackers that help people monitor their own wellness, technology is everywhere. For healthcare providers and payors, it will be critical to recognize risk factors and efficiently administer care. The key to driving effective care is through the gathering and sharing of healthcare information. From individual patient records to broader demographic trends, the analysis of information is the key that will unlock advances in healthcare quality. Private business and government are driving this movement. It is now up to the healthcare industry to take the lead.
There are promising signs that the federal government recognizes the current information gathering burden facing the healthcare industry. Speaking about the amount of time it currently takes healthcare providers to gather and share information, HHS Secretary Alex Azar said “We need to ensure that in the quest for information on quality, we don’t have providers, payers or others spend so much time accumulating data to improve reporting that they’re not actually improving quality.” This federal focus on the quality of and efficient collection, analysis and distribution of medical information brings great opportunities for organizations that provide new and better ways to deliver that information.
Keys to better healthcare information management include:
- Reducing the amount of time it takes for providers to enter medical information into patient records
- Improved interoperability between electronic record systems, release of information systems, and other data analysis systems
- A simplified release of information process that provides better communication and transparency for providers, patients and other authorized requesters
- The ability for patients to get their information, quickly and securely, when they need it
To quote Bob Dylan, “The times, they are a-changin…”
The question is, will today’s healthcare leaders drive the change, or be swept aside by it?
ChartFast exists because we believe that getting the right medical information into the right hands at the right time is critical to effective healthcare. Furthermore, we believe that the companies that have been providing this service in the past have done a poor job, for providers and requesters.
We have built a modern, cloud-based ROI platform that allows information to be transferred quickly and securely. We are driving health information distribution and analysis into the future.