A recent blog in this space focused on how coronavirus has affected the healthcare industry, particularly for closing gaps in care and managing chronic conditions. Both situations contribute to what a recent survey reports is the trend expected to have the biggest impact on the healthcare industry – the loss of revenue for hospitals and other healthcare providers.
In a Definitive Healthcare survey of healthcare professionals, 36 percent of respondents said that the biggest trend is losses sustained by providers because of the widespread cancellation of elective surgeries. The implications of delayed care (24 percent), increased telehealth usage (23 percent) and a decline in commercial insurance enrollment (10 percent) also ranked as top trends.
An American Hospital Association (AHA) report from June estimated a minimum of $120.5 billion in losses through the end of 2020 related to the pandemic, with most incurred due to lower patient volumes. This does not include the $202.6 billion in losses suffered between March and June, bringing the total loss to $323.1 billion, a figure that the AHA says will cause “immense financial strain” for hospitals, healthcare providers and health systems.
The report was careful to state that the total loss figure does not account for potential increase in coronavirus case rates. The effects of financial distress that, in some cases, result in up to a 50 percent reduction of emergency visits and in-hospital stays include layoffs, furloughs, overworked doctors and nurses and insolvency.
Combat Revenue Loss with a Digital Acceleration in Healthcare
There are many strategies to capture lost revenue, and most of them will have a digital component to them. A Manatt Health study published in June, “Emergence From COVID-19: Imperatives for Health System Leaders”, examined short-term and long-term ways to recoup losses. A long-term focus it said, “will be on building the next-generation distributed, highly interconnected, community engaged and extensively digital system of care, which will be the lynchpin of a resilient health system.”
The report argued that by taking this step, hospitals will achieve a better connection with patients and the community and aid in a recommitment to a value-based care approach, lowering costs through improved patient satisfaction and greater efficiencies.
The study listed several priority questions providers and hospital administrators should be asking. In the category of “Re-wiring the Organization for a Post-Pandemic World”, which the report referred to as the “new normal”, questions included:
- Where are the siloes that we need to break down to optimize our ability to fully recover and thrive in the “new normal”?
- Have we successfully managed the cultural transition to a highly digital system, or will we rapidly revert once the emergency fades?
A New Normal Will Require a Single View of the Healthcare Consumer
We’ve covered in this space the new reality in terms of digital excellence as it pertains to other industries post-COVID. In healthcare, just as with other industries, it will increase the need for payers and providers to completely understand, influence and measure each patient engagement.
As the Manatt Health study suggests, this will require breaking down institutional siloes that are common in healthcare, such as the separation of clinical and claims data that cloud visibility into a single view of the healthcare consumer. This is the tip of the iceberg, as demographic, IoT device and behavioral data are also siloed. The “cultural transition” the study references pertains to meeting healthcare consumers’ increasing preference for digital channels of engagement – for scheduling appointments, messaging, looking up provider information or medical history, directions to a lab, etc. Often, these mundane tasks are incumbent on the healthcare consumer to navigate, which introduces friction into the healthcare journey and creates an overall poor healthcare experience.
When institutional siloes are broken down and the single view of healthcare consumer takes shape, hospitals and providers are positioned to drive revenue gains by providing hyper-personalized experiences across an omnichannel healthcare journey. According to Gartner research, organizations that use transactional, preference and historical data while also looking at a consumer’s behavior across devices, analyzing device usage, IoT and sentiment analysis, and first-party, second-party and third-party data across a complete anonymous to known record produce a conversion lift of 20 percent or more. These organizations, deemed “customer-centric” produce roughly twice as much lift as “persona-centric” organizations, that stop short of the single view – forming a personalization strategy that only using transactional, behavioral and historical data.
A single view of the healthcare consumer, or Golden Record, produces optimal gains because it is continuously updated with real-time data. With no data latency, hospitals and providers always have the most updated, complete and unified consumer profile, which ensures that every message or communication – a next-best action – is always in the cadence of each consumer’s unique healthcare journey.
Reduce Costs and Increase Revenue with a Healthcare Consumerism Approach
The Redpoint partnership with Lucerna Health demonstrates that the “customer-centric” approach as described above has proven to lower costs, achieve higher revenues and elevate the patient experience with an interconnected, digital-first platform.
A joint solution combines the Redpoint rgOne customer experience platform with the Lucerna Healthcare Data Platform (HDP) to advance a healthcare consumerism approach that prioritizes a holistic consumer experience across digital and physical touchpoints. The partnership delivers results by creating innovative, consumer-centric experiences that recognize an empowered consumer in charge of a healthcare journey.
One client saw a 4X in closing care gaps for high-risk patients, a 3X improvement in new patient wellness visits and a 320 percent increase in program enrollment for on-demand telehealth services.
Take Charge of the Patient Experience
The way forward for hospitals and providers to recapture lost revenue and drive new revenue is to start by identifying every source of healthcare consumer data, realizing that a “customer-centric” approach that drives gains requires far more than just traditional provider data such as medical records.
Once hospitals and providers begin using a single view of the healthcare consumer to deliver personalized experiences, they will be able to measure the ROI of the rgOne customer experience platform with vastly improved patient satisfaction rates, improved health outcomes and lower costs.
With expectations for significant revenue loss and the prospect of a long recovery, hospitals must explore all options for reversing the slide and take aggressive measures to rebound. The healthcare consumerism trend that puts the healthcare consumer first was already accelerating pre-COVID, in large part because it has proven to lower costs and increase revenue through an improved patient experience. In the “new normal” of a post-pandemic world, the trend will continue on a growth path and it will become more important than ever to embrace patient experience as a defining metric.