- HFMA’s most recent Outlook Survey of healthcare finance professionals highlights the potential of technology to usher in big changes in upcoming years.
- The possibility that reimbursement will be further restricted is a key area of concern.
- Among the likely permanent impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic is a shift in the traditional workforce model.
Healthcare finance professionals are getting ready for technology to change the way they and their organizations do business, according to results of HFMA’s Outlook Survey.
The most recently published iteration of the quarterly survey was conducted in August 2021, drawing from a cohort of 542 HFMA members. While responses to questions about short-term trends are subject to change based on the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, the survey results also showcase finance professionals’ thoughts about where the industry is headed.
Here are five important insights from the data.
1. AI is spurring transformation
Technology-based changes are seen as the “next big thing” that will revolutionize healthcare finance, according to responses to an open-ended question, with 25% of respondents naming innovations such as machine learning, AI, paperless and cashless transactions, and robotic process automation.
Ben Carter, executive vice president and COO with Trinity Health, was among the survey respondents. In the context of cutting-edge changes, AI is top of mind for his organization.
“It’s in clinical delivery, it’s in administrative spaces, revenue cycle, all of that,” Carter said.
The technology has the potential to “dramatically reduce the cost of healthcare because we’ll learn a lot more about how to effectively treat and where to treat [in terms of] site of care,” Carter said.
In addition, “rather than treat the disease as someone is diagnosed, it allows us to begin to be preventive.”