Automation has become a buzzword in the tech community, academia, and regular people. While some believe it will usher in a new era of productivity, efficiency, and wealth, others feel that it could widen the chasm between rich and poor.
Whatever people might feel, automation is sweeping across every industry, including healthcare. While there are many solutions to automate clinical workflows, it’s has been proving not easy to do the same for payer processes.
Payers stand to benefit immensely from implementing automated payer software. Workflows involving manual and repetitive tasks are, by default, prone to errors and delays caused by purely human reasons. HIPAA compliant solutions for payer automation can do all of these activities without mistakes.
Existing regulation has been strict about the processes followed by healthcare providers and payers. Mistakes in activities like claims submission,medical billing, provider credentialing, or insurance verification often cost both the stakeholders. While automated payer solutions help alleviate many problems, implementing them comes with a separate set of challenges.
Challenges in Implementing Healthcare Payer Automation Solutions
1. Extensive Technical Research
When it comes to IT and digitization, there is no one-size-fits-all. The insurance payer must decide which processes will be automated. Such healthcare payer solutions cannot be the sole responsibility of an in-house IT team. There are bound to be changed in the organizational workflows.
Not every step of healthcare payer processes’ administrative and functional aspects can be automated. Deciding on these may not be within the purview of insurance companies, and it requires experts in healthcare automation who can assess an organization and make appropriate recommendations. Furthermore, it also depends upon factors like cost and company size.
Parameters like the features of the payer software, potential for return on investment, time for staff to get acquainted, changes to working styles are of the essence when considering a move to automation.
2. Knowing Which Workflows to Automate
Payers often have an elaborate, highly bureaucratic procedure to adhere to. They need to collaborate with providers for verifying patients’ health plans, analyze the coding, process the bills, check to see if treatments are covered, and then reimburse the providers. This workflow is prone to errors, which cost all the stakeholders. That’s because existing regulation stipulates that any process or technology that handles patient electronic health records must feature a certain level of data security measures.
Only repetitive procedures that don’t require a skilled human professional can be turned over to automation. Things like verification, claims assessment, etc., have a few more or less manual aspects. Activities like these can be comfortably handed over to healthcare payer software.
3. Employee Fear of Layoffs
This is perhaps the most intensely contested topic of conservation when it comes to automation. Automation has already cost employees their jobs at factories, and it threatens the jobs of millions of drivers across the globe. The same holds for people in the insurance industry.
It takes several employees to carry out routine tasks at an insurance company. But after automation for healthcare payers sweeps the industry, most of the employees in those roles are bound to be laid off. This fear is not unfounded, and top-tier management must tread a fine line when taking this step. But on the upside, automation will boost the productivity and efficiency of payers, and it can eliminate the human element and render manual, recurring activities error-free.
4. Prioritizing Initial Investment Vs. Long-Term Gains
As with every new investment, businesses worry about the value that the money spent can add to their organization. But automation benefits healthcare payers and providers in terms of efficiency and productivity.
Software for healthcare payer automation that reduces staffing requirements alone would save insurers a significant amount of money. Moreover, payer solutions minimize errors in medical credentialing, claims processing, health plan verification, and the overall reimbursement procedure, in addition to speeding them up.
As workflows grow faster and more efficient, it’s sure to reflect in the insurers’ image. Consequently, more providers and customers would want to associate with a reliable payer. As expected, this pays off in the long run. To sum it up, automated healthcare payer solutions do require a significant investment, but they’re worth every cent as they’d improve the bottom line as the years pass.
How Does A Platform For Healthcare Payer Automation Help The Payers?
1. Improved Health Data Management
Manual activities invariably involve the human element and so are prone to mistakes. When it comes to healthcare, regulations ensure that errors related to medical records management incur hefty fines. Several steps in the reimbursement procedure would include access to patient records. But since healthcare payer automation can minimize human intervention, it naturally results in fewer mistakes and greater efficiency.
2. Reduced Overhead
As mentioned earlier, an immediate by-product of automated health systems is reducing staffing. Fewer employees mean lesser people to pay, which drives up revenues. Even better is that a payer can enjoy higher productivity with few people. The benefits of lower overhead are clear for everyone to see.
Automation within practice management platforms has helped single physician practices to handle multiple aspects of office administration and reimbursement procedures with little to no extra help. The result is lasting satisfaction for the doctors, patients, and payers.
3. Better Compliance
It has integrated healthcare solutions that feature automation to help in streamlining many aspects of care delivery. That includes the entire workflow of claims submission at the providers’ end, coupled with verification and reimbursement at the payers’ end.
Seamless and secure electronic data exchange among different stakeholders eventually leads to better care. Automated payer management software can ensure a higher degree of compliance within medical workflows by optimizing operations.
4. Flexibility and Scalability
Technology for healthcare payer automation can evolve to meet changing requirements, and it can be scaled up or down depending upon the need. This gives payer organizations enormous flexibility without worrying about an increase or decrease in their efficiency.
5. Improved Productivity
Automated payer management software is like an employee that can work around the clock, never take a day off, and not make any mistakes. Needless to point out, automation has boosted the productivity of every industry it has touched.
Medical informatics and healthcare analytics solutions have repeatedly revealed a drastic increase in productivity and efficiency after automation. In other words, payers can accomplish more with fewer resources and enjoy higher revenues.
6. Efficient Claims Processing
Processing the claims is among the most critical aspects of payer operations. Each claim can vary depending upon health plans, providers, type of treatment, medical history, and so forth. Mistakes in this process often result in delays and re-submissions.
Automating all the monotonous parts of the claim’s life cycle brings enormous efficiency and speed. So much so that it’s known to improve the overall healthcare management on the provider side.
Healthcare payer automation is a proven technology known to boost revenues, speed, efficiency, and overall patient satisfaction. Hospitals routinely report better outcomes and embellished patient engagement systems after adopting them.
An automated health system at hospitals has resulted in seamless healthcare interoperability, which helps improve the delivery of care. From population health management to cloud computing in healthcare, there’s not a single area of the medical industry that hasn’t seen improvement after experiencing the wonders of automation.
Healthcare payer automation is bound to save money and time for insurers and doctors, and it has the potential to eliminate mistakes and cut down denials. Ultimately, it’s the patients who stand to benefit from the healthcare industry’s adoption of this marvel.
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Riken's work motto is to help healthcare providers use technological advancements to make healthcare easily accessible to all stakeholders, from providers to patients. Under his leadership and guidance, OSP Labs has successfully developed over 600 customized software solutions for 200+ healthcare clients across continents.