Digital healthcare and telehealth are at the top pf the list of healthcare trends in 2021.
Leading healthcare organizations have invested significantly in digital healthcare, expanding services and optimizing patient outcomes.
Other healthcare organizations are already falling behind. Since digital healthcare isn’t going away any time soon, that’s a problem.
Today, we’re highlighting some of the best digital healthcare strategies you can use to optimize revenue.
Revenue Optimization Strategy #1) Embrace Cloud Infrastructure
Cloud infrastructure is an investment that has quickly paid dividends for healthcare organizations across the country.
In the last year, cloud infrastructure has allowed providers to rapidly deploy field hospitals, providing services wherever those services can safely be administered.
Good cloud infrastructure optimizes every level of your healthcare organization. It allows for more streamlined movement of clinical records between different medical systems. It optimizes patient care and improves continuity in uncertain times.
In a West Monroe Partners survey, 35% of healthcare partners reported holding more than half of their data or infrastructure in the cloud.
Why is the cloud so valuable? It reduces IT costs and improves access to data. Healthcare organizations can focus on what they do best – patient care – while leaving IT to the professionals. Cloud infrastructure is updated continuously for speed and security. And hybrid cloud deployments allow organizations to enjoy all of the benefits of the cloud – with fewer downsides than a cloud only deployment.
Moving forward, more healthcare organizations are set to embrace cloud infrastructure.
As pointed out by Forbes, firms like Amazon are taking note. Amazon Web Services just announced the launch of HealthLake, a cloud storage and analysis platform. HealthLake uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to analyze data in the cloud, making it easier for healthcare organizations to access and use their data.
Revenue Optimization Strategy #2) Optimize Telehealth Services
The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the inevitable: firms were already implementing more telehealth services every year, and COVID-19 forced more firms to adopt telehealth.
According to a McKinsey report, just 11% of Americans reported using telehealth services in 2019. In 2020, that number rose to 46%.
Virtual patient care, when implemented correctly, reduces costs for healthcare providers. It enables doctors to see more patients. It reduces overhead expenses. Studies show it can also improve patient outcomes.
With Medicare, Medicaid, and major insurance companies covering virtual care, telehealth isn’t going away any time soon. Expect telehealth to rapidly expand in the coming years. Smart healthcare organizations are already investing significantly into telehealth to prepare for the inevitable.
Revenue Optimization Strategy #3) Make Good Insurer Partnerships
Healthcare providers took a huge hit last year during the COVID-19 pandemic. Providers were forced to halt services because of the pandemic. It led to plummeting revenue, especially for organizations that relied heavily on fee-for-service reimbursement.
That’s why smart healthcare providers are moving into value-based payment arrangements. They’re avoiding the increased risk of fee-for-service arrangements and seeking better insurer partnerships.
A fully integrated healthcare system provides organizations with a diversified revenue stream they can use to weather the pandemic – or any other unexpected events that could occur in the future. To build that integrated healthcare system, providers are searching for health insurer deals and partnerships.
This will ultimately lead to a shift in patient care. Insurers will emphasize preventative healthcare and maintenance. Instead of just treating sick patients, healthcare providers will be motivated to prevent patients from becoming sick in the first place.
Revenue Optimization Strategy #4) Prepare for After-effects of the Pandemic
We haven’t felt the full effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Organizations still have hurdles to face. Some of the things to monitor as we get closer to the end of the pandemic include:
Higher Costs of Claims for Insurers: Patients have put off care for months. As restrictions drop, patients will return for care. Many of these patients are sicker because they deferred care. That could mean more spending on care for insurers – and higher patient loads for providers.
Increased Numbers of Medicaid and Self-pay Patients: Millions of Americans have lost healthcare after losing their jobs during the pandemic. Hospitals are reporting increased numbers of patients using Medicaid or self-pay systems to cover their costs. Some healthcare organizations are unprepared for this shift, while others have well-established procedures in place.
Smarter Business Continuity Plans: We don’t know what happens next, and we don’t know when restrictions will be lifted. But one thing is certain: businesses with strong continuity plans are better prepared than those with poor continuity plans. Some providers were able to adapt to changing regulatory frameworks rapidly, while others quickly fell behind.
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