3 Financial Benefits of Digital Health Platforms

November 9, 2022 |
Debra Voss
 | Solutions Consultant, Patient Experience
November 9, 2022
Debra Voss
Solutions Consultant, Patient Experience

When it comes to digital transformations in healthcare, Sara Vaezy is one of those people who just “gets it.”

The Chief Digital Officer at Providence, Sara is one of our industry’s most prominent thought leaders and advocates. Her team built the Providence Digital Innovation Group, an initiative that finds and implements new technologies to improve the experiences of patients and clinicians and enrich communities.

So, when Sara speaks, it’s worth your time to pay attention.

In a recently published Forbes article, Sara shared three ways that digital transformation can drive growth in healthcare. One of her key takeaways: That simplified and standardized technology platforms can allow health systems to take full advantage of the speed and market investment to drive digital transformation.

That really resonates with me. As a solution consultant here at DeliverHealth, I see the way our platform gives healthcare organizations the tools they need to transform. I also see the amazing results that platforms deliver when they unify multiple point solutions to improve health systems’ mid-revenue cycles and enhance their digital health capabilities.

Let me explain why I’m so passionate about the power of digital health platforms and unpack 3 ways they can drive new revenue for organizations of any size.

 

The emergent business case for digital transformation

The past two years have been exceptionally difficult on all health systems. In its fall 2022 hospital finance update, the American Hospital Association (AHA) reveals that, by year’s end, margins will be down 37% overall relative to pre-pandemic levels. In fact, more than half (53%) of all hospitals expect to have negative margins compared to pre-pandemic. And that’s in the most optimistic of scenarios!

Ultimately, the AHA concludes, U.S. hospitals will face billions of dollars of losses in 2022. The main drivers are sharp increases in both labor and non-labor expenses.

But while these pressures may convince some organizations to sit still and weather the storm, current market pressures won’t allow that to happen. With corporate giants Walmart, Amazon, CVS, and Walgreens all doubling down on their healthcare investments and putting convenience first, traditional hospitals and health systems must transform right now to meet their providers’ and patients’ current and future needs.

Trusting your digital transformation to a vendor with a platform approach brings multiple potential benefits. For one, as Sara points out in her article, a platform can give you a holistic view of the patient, streamlining the transactions, communications, and engagement with patients while also optimizing precious resources and reducing caregiver burnout.

What’s more, the right platform vendor will use many of the point solutions you’ve already invested in, reducing the financial outlay you’ll need to transform successfully. Platforms providers can also help you identify new sources of revenue.

As Sara puts it, companies whose business model revolves around being a true platform company—taking into account the wide range of operational and business logic of different constituents without forcing organizations into a specific operating model—will win.

 

3 Ways Digital Health Platforms Drive New Revenue

The DeliverHealth Platform is unique in the way it bridges the middle-revenue cycle and digital health to enhance revenue, manage costs, and create a healthier patient base. Let’s review three concrete ways we’ve seen our platform contribute to an organization’s bottom line and ease the multiple burdens faced by providers, healthcare organizations and their patients.

 

1. Clinical documentation gives physicians their time back

The physician burnout crisis is all too real. It not only causes some organizations to lose their best and brightest physicians, but it also creates added labor-related expenses. According to the American Medical Association, it costs between $500,000 – $1 million just to replace one burned-out physician.

The DeliverHealth App gives providers multiple documentation solutions they can use, letting them choose from their iPhone whether they want to transcribe or use a medical scribe for a patient visit. This high level of convenience can make documentation simpler for providers and give them more time for direct patient care.

Take the example of an orthopedic surgeon who spends three hours each day on clinical documentation. If they get those three hours back through simpler documentation tools, they can use that time to potentially perform three more joint replacement procedures, which carry an average margin of $17,500. That’s an extra $52,500 each day! Now, multiply that by 10

orthopedic surgeons, and you get a potential margin increase of $525,000 per day, or $136 million over the course of a year.

 

2. Autonomous coding creates annual net savings

Higher labor costs mean healthcare organizations pay a lot more for job positions across the board today—including medical coders. Autonomous Coding, powered by the DeliverHealth platform, helps mitigate this concern by using sophisticated computer algorithms to code facility and professional charts within seconds, with zero human intervention and 95%+ accuracy.

When fully implemented, Autonomous Coding can decrease the time to code from 20 – 30 minutes to mere seconds. It also can help organizations right-size their staff, using human coders for more complex, value-added work and letting the platform do the rest.

On average, we’ve seen clients reduce medical coding expenses by 15 – 20%. In one instance, an organization used autonomous coding for 1 million radiology encounters over the course of a year and earned a net savings of $1.4 million. Add in decreased DNFB, a lower number of coding days, and accelerated cash collections, and the impact gets even greater.

 

3. Digital front door keeps your patients loyal

Keeping up with the Amazons and Walgreens of the world mean making it easier for patients to connect with you on their mobile devices. The DeliverHealth platform offers healthcare organizations a Digital Front Door capable of integrating more than 40 point solutions into a single, patient-friendly mobile app for your patient consumers.

Why is that important? According to Accenture, 50% of consumers say that one bad digital experience with a healthcare provider ruins that entire experience. What’s more, 63% of patients say they’ll switch healthcare providers if their payment experience doesn’t meet their expectations. And each time a patient switches providers, your organization loses potential revenue—and must invest heavily in acquiring new patients to replace them.

A Digital Front Door helps to create the better experience that customers crave. It also gives organizations valuable insights like monthly active users and digitally registered users—some of the very metrics that Sara mentions in Forbes—that you can use to drive long-term loyalty.

 

Go beyond a Band-aid approach

The intense margin pressures hospitals, health systems, and group practices face today won’t let up anytime soon. Digital transformation offers a powerful way to capture new revenue streams and meet providers’ and patients’ needs. There are no quick fixes. But leveraging a platform will give organizations multiple tools they can use to accelerate their journey.

If you want to learn more about how the DeliverHealth Platform could help bring big digital transformation wins to your organization, I’d be happy to help.

Let’s Talk.