Top Healthcare and Revenue Cycle Trends to watch for in 2018

2017 required healthcare organizations to respond to several new challenges – political change, growing role of technology, shift to value-based care and the increasing role of information security. While we anticipate that these issues will continue to influence through 2018, we will also see new challenges. The blurring lines between providers and payers, a refocusing on care (and more so on the patient), and a changing policy environment will occupy the center stage for 2018. 



Here are some of the top trends that we believe will be in focus in 2018:

1. It's in the cloud!!!

If your revenue cycle management system is not in the cloud today, it should be soon. Top revenue cycle management systems are offering their platforms via cloud-based technologies with interesting features that enable practice leaders to view performance across different KPIs. This technology has turned out to be a key disruptor over the past 6-8 years. In 2018, we will see cloud-based technologies becoming more of a norm than an exception, especially in the physician revenue cycle market. 

2. The machines have gotten intelligent and are ready to help you with your front and back-office needs. 

The hype around robotic process automation has given way to artificial intelligence and machine learning-based technologies to a level where they can be harnessed to provide sustainable efficiency gains in back-office operations. Whether it is utilizing tools such as screen-scraping or utilizing machine learning to understand the payment cycle of payers, process automation technologies are here for good. 2018 will pave the way for intelligent automation, often preventive in nature, to change front-office technologies pervasively.

3. Care is about the Patient - Time to revisit the basics

Patient experience will become a top priority in 2018. As the back-office shifts to offshore and machines, there will be investments and a new focus on improving the patient experience through preventive care outreach, through registration and care at the healthcare system, discharge, and post-discharge coordination. Ultimately, we will see a significant change in the role of the front office. 

4.Healthcare Reform

According to market watchers, the biggest potential disruptor could be a change in healthcare funding for Medicare / Medicaid programs. 

5.Are you delivering value?- A question that all healthcare market participants are grappling with

The role of each participant in the healthcare value chain begins to get questioned in the value-based payment models. As the lines blur between payers and providers, we see intensified activity from mergers and acquisitions, some as game-changing as the CVS-Anthem mega deal. 

6. Role of Security Technologies

As with all businesses worldwide, Healthcare businesses will be forced to contend with cyber-threats. Cybersecurity vulnerabilities in medical devices could lead to erroneous medical observations, leading to the need to have comprehensive information security program. 

7. It’s about analytics!

The impact of social and demographic variables on the health of a population segment will drive the need for focused local and long-term fixes, leading to a healthier population. 

8. Price transparency- addressing total costs of care

Increasing price transparency -either through legislation or through market-making apps, will force healthcare payers to go for non-traditional partnerships to reduce total costs of care. 

9. Healthier Population

There are several factors at play when we say we will see a healthier population in 2018. Increased copays and deductibles could force youngsters to adopt a healthier lifestyle. We could see a significant push for preventive care by healthcare payers who are getting more involved in the health of their members. Additionally, a rise in peer pressure and awareness for a healthy lifestyle and medical devices could be another indicator. For these reasons, we are confident that America will see a significantly healthier population in 2018. 

10. Increasing demand for Therapy Services

The Opioid Crisis has sparked a national debate. With as many as 150 estimated drug overdoses each day, we anticipate more regulations coming to opioid prescription drug distribution. We could also see services such as rehabilitation, behavioral, and occupational health therapy to rise in 2018.