Impact of Technology on Financial Services in Healthcare

Vijayashree Natarajan, Sr. VP & Head - Technology, Omega Healthcare

 Vijayashree Natarajan, Sr. VP & Head - Technology, Omega Healthcare

Ms. Vijayashree is a passionate tech professional with around 24 years of experience across diverse technology areas. Before joining Omega Healthcare in 2020 as Head of Technology, she held the role of BU Head of intelligent Process Automation for Cognizant, where she led numerous digital transformation initiatives for the organization. In a recent interaction with Thiruamuthan, correspondent at India Pharma Outlook, Vijayashree shared her insights on the recent tech advancements that are enabling optimized financial management for healthcare organizations.

How is technology helping healthcare organizations to manage their finances more efficiently? 

For any healthcare provider, enhancing the overall revenue cycle plays a significant role in deciding the organization's success. Technology will help them in monitoring their end-to-end revenue performance by providing real-time dashboards and analytics to identify diverse expense areas and leakages in the end-to-end RCM lifecycle. This way, tech solutions enable healthcare providers to improve their connections and reduce reporting efforts. Combining your clinical and financial intelligence will ensure that healthcare providers possess all the necessary tools to make the treatment process more cost-effective and make evidence-based decisions in their revenue cycle management process.  

Briefly explain the importance of customized financial operations in a healthcare setup. 

It is all about how you improve your cost of operations by leveraging the latest technologies. Firstly, you need to re-imagine the process, do a value stream mapping of your IT systems, and identify the leakage across your end-to-end business process. Additionally, value stream mapping also helps the business in identifying the inefficiencies within the systems and eliminating the not-so-productive steps. Secondly, organizations can integrate automation technologies such as AI/ML and RPA to automate the entire business process, which will result in reducing the cost of operations significantly. To summarize, utilizing a combination of cutting-edge technologies and process re-imagination will help organizations to a great extent in streamlining their entire process cycle and reducing total operational costs.

What is the impact of care coordination and remote monitoring on the hospitals’ overall operations and finances?

Since the entire healthcare delivery system is centered on patients, value-based and patient-oriented care has become mainstream in recent times. According to recent estimates, close to $30 billion has been spent to encourage the adoption of EHR and the sharing of patient information across various healthcare facilities to ease the treatment process. For example, if a patient goes to a hospital for a particular treatment, but for some reason, has to go to another hospital. In such cases, the ease of patient data sharing between the hospitals will help in giving better patient-oriented care. Thus, it is safe to say that all the innovations and industry trends in the healthcare sector are today moving towards patient-oriented care where the systems across various hospitals are able to communicate with each other and share patient information in a secure and hassle-free manner. Furthermore, by utilizing all these data-driven insights into the treatment process through telemedicine clinicians can offer a better level of care for the patients.

There is a new paradigm that has been developed over the last few years called health informatics, where the convergence of your IoT and telemedicine has given rise to smart hospitals wherein IoT enables smart healthcare monitoring and consolidation of data across different kinds of devices through which the healthcare professionals can not only monitor the patients in real-time but also submit the patient records to the central health system. This has become the backbone of health informatics, with technologies such as big data, cloud computing, analytics, and LLMs acting as the true enablers for healthcare providers to move towards patient-oriented care. Technology is helping insurance companies to reduce fraudulent insurance claims by applying analytics to their past claims data. Lastly, risk stratification and identifying the care gaps through patient and population analytics is another emerging tech trend that is gaining widespread prominence lately.

Suggest a few simple ways in which technologies can be leveraged to benefit both patients and healthcare providers.

Data plays a major role in this regard, wherein the ease of patient data transfer between various hospitals through EHR saves the patients from spending extra money on getting the same tests done in different hospitals unnecessarily while shifting from one provider to another. This will not only reduce the treatment costs for patients but also significantly cut down the operational costs for healthcare providers as well.