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At HFMA’s Annual Conference this year, tech-enabled productivity enhancement was the big solution on everyone’s mind when it came to healthcare’s biggest challenges. Providers are certainly facing real financial issues at the moment, with a balancing act driven by a multitude of factors. Here are the big ones buzzing on the event’s floor this year:

  • Those shaping federal policy continue to chip away at the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and those at HFMA this year kept asking the same question – “What happens next?” Specifically, how much revenue will be lost as fewer patients maintain insurance coverage? Are we moving back to the pre-ACA days where financial assistance at pre-reg and reg took on outsized importance? When will we know?
  • We heard many discussing patient engagement and satisfaction once again, with a recent InstaMed study highlighting how healthcare ‘customers’ are demanding a different experience that providers still can’t meet. Many were asking the same question – “How do we do more with less?”
  • Employees focused on healthcare revenue cycle need to be met on their terms, especially as companies like Google, Indeed and others have modified their work environments for a new generation. It’s time for providers to look at similar changes.
  • While healthcare organizations can spend hundreds of millions of dollars on backbone technology like Epic, certain needs still aren’t being met. Many at HFMA were asking how to meet them with specialized software for point solutions, add-ons for unique functions and more. The question this year was where to find it.
  • Will we see cuts in federal reimbursement yet again?
  • Where have the breakthroughs been in making the revenue cycle more efficient? Many spoke at this year’s conference about agent productivity, and how to help staff more easily navigate the complexity of their daily work. Providers need better accountability data and workflow analysis to make better decisions about their processes, and tie their agents’ data to financial performance.
  • How will telemedicine’s growth impact the provider’s volume of traditional office visits?
  • Are AI and machine learning on a precipice now that data aggregation has become a top-of-mind concern? Many health systems have learned to efficiently bridge multiple legacy platforms to accommodate continued M&A activity – That kind of consolidation means the revenue cycle has become more integrated than ever, and it can only drive unexpected and exciting evolution.

These topics have, and will continue to shape healthcare’s financial outlook in the coming years. That much is clear. And at a time when it feels like many conference events are waning, it’s inspiring to see how HFMA remains well-attended and vibrant. It’s an event that reflects an industry and discipline in constant evolution, if not revolution, and that’s why we’ve kept our eyes peeled and ears open as new practices and technology have brought important changes to medicine, and a U.S. population that’s well-cared-for. We’re looking forward to what the remainder of 2018 will bring, as we step over the horizon into a new healthcare environment that services patients and communities better than it has ever before.


Disclaimer: Ontario Systems is a technology company and provides this blog article solely for general informational and marketing purposes. You should not rely on the content of this material for any other purpose or as specific guidance for your company. Ontario Systems’ advice, services, tools and products described herein do not guarantee compliance with any law or industry standard. You are ultimately responsible for your own company’s actions and compliance efforts. Because everyone’s situation is different, you must consult your own attorneys, accountants, and/or other advisors to obtain specific advice on your company’s compliance, legal, tax, regulatory and/or other business needs. Despite Ontario Systems’ efforts to provide current and up-to-date information, you need to recognize that the information contained herein may become outdated quickly and may contain errors and/or other inaccuracies.

© 2018 Ontario Systems, LLC. All rights reserved. Information contained in this document is subject to change. Reproduction of this publication is not permitted without the express permission of Ontario Systems, LLC.

Posted by Shawn Yates

Shawn Yates serves as Director of Product Management for Ontario Systems, defining the company’s strategy for product and service offerings in the healthcare market. With over 20 years of experience managing self-pay receivables and collection operations for a top 20 healthcare system, Shawn’s background also includes working for a national outsourcing company helping clients manage their insurance and self-pay receivables, and Experian Health, the largest data and analytics company in the country.
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