A recent Becker's Hospital Review article highlighted healthcare's significance in the American economy. In that, healthcare accounts for more than 17 percent of the nation's gross domestic product, employs more people than any other industry in the nation, and venture capital alone invested more than $23 billion in healthcare in 2018. The article points out that despite these massive investment and the efforts of a talented workforce, many of the nation's hospitals and health systems operate on razor-thin operating margins and face the dual challenge of achieving fiscal sustainability while delivering high quality care to patients.
The rising cost of care is also putting considerable economic pressure on patients as out-of-pocket costs and premiums continue to rise. Several trends drive the financial hardships faced by healthcare providers and patients, one being the abundance of waste in the industry. Our recent blog cited a JAMA study published in October where it was found that roughly 20 to 25 percent of U.S. healthcare spending is attributable to waste. The largest portion of annual waste identified in the study — $266 billion — can be attributed to administrative costs, which include revenue cycle management functions such as billing, coding, patient collections, and payer interactions.
At Becker's Hospital Review IT + Revenue Cycle Conference this autumn where Aviacode was a gold sponsor, more than 20 leaders from hospitals and health systems participated in a roundtable discussion on eliminating waste from the revenue cycle and what it will take to bend the healthcare cost curve. Dave Haight, athenahealth's vice president of advisory services, led the discussion.
According to Mr. Haight, bending the healthcare cost curve must be a people-focused endeavor. Providers and their technology partners must come together under aligned values to successfully navigate an increasingly difficult reimbursement environment and give patients the experience they deserve.
"When you look at bending the cost curve. It's really about people," Haight said. "Technology's the enabler. But, at the end of the day, it's really all about people."
Aviacode delivers medical coding solutions that employ over 700 skilled AHIMA or AAPC certified medical coders who take the time to understand providers' workflows, processes, and overall coding needs. By integrating qualified people in a technology environment, we enable providers to get the highest benefit of a bended healthcare cost curve to improve margins.