2016 Health Care Industry Trends, Shifts in Technology and Costs.
“The biggest issue in 2016 for health care providers both worldwide and in the U.S. continues to be cost”, says Mitch Morris, MD, vice chairman and U.S./Global Health Care Providers leader, Deloitte Consulting, LLP. Reference: Wall Street Journal, FEB 17, 2016.
Mr. Morris says that technology-enabled care can help providers meet health and value-based care goals as the industry shifts from volume to value, but the key to connected health’s effectiveness is knowing who will be motivated by it—and why. Reference: Wall Street Journal, FEB 17, 2016.
Mitch Morris: Connected health—also known as technology-enabled care—involves the convergence of health technology, digital media and mobile devices. It encompasses telehealth, telemedicine, mHealth and eHealth services, and enables patients and providers to access data and information more easily. Reference: Wall Street Journal, FEB 17, 2016.
What should providers be doing in the coming year to address these trends?
The health care industry will no doubt have to make decisions on how to streamline costs to accommodate technology-enabled care. More and more providers will rely on telecom and utility to provide the best solutions to meet the needs of fast moving, evolving technology. Moving at times so quickly that the service providers for telecom and utility have a difficult time keeping up and producing solutions based on needs. When this happens in some cases errors occur in providing the appropriate solutions in contracts and errors occur in billing. With over 80% of telecom and utility invoices paid without being audited – many of these invoices are being paid with errors and the industry is greatly OVERPAYING. With the biggest issue in the health care industry being COST, it is most certain that great attention should be placed to ensure that telecom and utility expenses are audited, optimized and continually reviewed to align with new technology and solutions that can provide savings and efficiency in the health care industry as well as in all industries.
You may feel there are no costs left to cut. “Finding Savings” is most controversial in the long term health care industry. The healthcare industry faces many challenges from strict compliance, changes in technology, balancing privacy and convenience, data security, expanded roles and meeting financial viability. Healthcare industry is always faced with the demands of generating sufficient income to meeting operating payments, debt commitments, and additional income to allow for growth and all while maintaining service levels.
The question is: Is it possible to improve quality, safety, access, patient experience, and engagement of physicians and staff while cutting costs? Leading health systems in the country are setting ambitious goals and searching for unnecessary complexity, fragmentation, and waste in all areas. This includes telecom and utility. So where can a healthcare provider look for cost savings?
As a growing hospital, medical practice or health care facility, one of the highest expense line items is telecom and utility services.
In this case a senior care provider, focused on rehabilitation centers, assisted living, retirement centers, hospice and long-term acute care, saved $164,000 a year in telecom spending, monthly savings was $13,000 and a 23% total year savings.
The complexities of multiple facilities, carriers and geographies, coupled with lack of standard processes were over-whelming to the current management. Additional challenges included branch leadership changes, decentralized operational decision making, no consistent telecom procurement practices or audit processes and limited telecom contract expertise.
Is this you?
Are your facilities struggling to streamline your telecom procurement practices? Are contracts being reviewed for the best solution without wasteful expenses or errors? Are changes in technology being addressed to best meet the upcoming health care industry trends?
If you have questions regarding your specific telecom and utility savings, contact Limitless Technology.