Pivot Point Consulting Releases 2021 Trends
Quarterly Pivot: Timely Insight for Healthcare IT Leaders… What’s Ahead for Q1 2021
(Nashville, Tenn. Dec. 17, 2020) – Pivot Point Consulting, 2020 Best in KLAS Overall IT Services Firm and a healthcare IT consulting leader, released Quarterly Pivot, a new quarterly report to help providers and payers keep pace with today’s rapidly evolving industry changes. Quarterly Pivot shines a spotlight on topics important to healthcare IT leaders, including managed services, mergers and acquisitions, data analytics, revenue cycle, EHR and telehealth.
“We are excited to launch Quarterly Pivot to share what we see, as well as our analysis and predictions,” said Rachel Marano, Pivot Point Consulting Managing Partner and Co-Founder. “Between COVID-19, regulatory changes, evolving technologies and managing the overall cost of healthcare, we understand the obstacles healthcare IT leaders face, and our experts want to help them stay a step ahead.”
The first Quarterly Pivot focuses on trends to watch in Q1 2021. Below are the highlights.
Patient IT Support – With the rapid growth of telehealth during COVID-19, organizations are challenged with helping patients navigate issues like web browser updates, internet connectivity and other technical problems. Many organizations do not have the support structure to handle internal IT issues and those of their patients.
Balancing Support Models – Balancing support needs for high volume/low complexity issues like password resets with high complexity/low volume issues like EHR break-fixes can prove challenging to align organizationally. Full-spectrum solutions will become increasingly prevalent as organizations look at streamlining their support models.
Not the Same Old Models – While traditional merger and acquisition activity continues, there are other affiliations, joint ventures and partnerships also on the rise. Additionally, the business partner’s models are drastically changing, creating an increasingly diverse spectrum of clinical and business models requiring innovative, non-traditional IT and operational solutions.
Be Standard, Be Flexible is Not a Contradiction – Even as the spectrum and landscape of M&A and partnerships grow increasingly complex, healthcare organizations are also looking to drive IT standardization and efficiency.
More Than Tools – We’ve seen an explosion of AI/ML capabilities, vendors, algorithms and use cases. Organizations need to keep in mind that these are incredible tools, but tools are just that. These advancements are only useful in the context of larger organizational goals and with the appropriate data analytics foundation to support their use.
Value-Based Care – Organizations will need to consider the overlap of their strategic objectives, contractual obligations and optimization of the triple aim to ensure they’re focused on the data, analytics and operational components that will truly move the needle.
Focus on Governance – Many organizations have splintered analytics shops and are looking to establish healthy governance practices to unite the enterprise on tools, definitions, processes and systems. Strong cross-team collaboration and stakeholder alignment will become even more critical to get it right.
Cloud Migration – Organizations are all over the spectrum on adopting cloud data solutions – from entirely onsite for full migrations to the cloud – with most organizations falling somewhere in between. While we don’t see consensus at this point, it’s on everyone’s radar and will require careful strategic planning to determine the right approach.
Outsourcing – Healthcare organizations are focused on delivering high-quality patient care. While revenue cycle is a core function of high-performing organizations, it may not be where they want to focus. Outsourcing revenue cycle and other specialized business processes with experts enables healthcare organizations to remain focused on patients.
Revenue Recovery – Organizations will take advantage of the new patient share opportunities brought about by COVID-19 and evolving technology. With that comes a new focus on patient billing procedures to accommodate the increasing number of patients without insurance.
Telehealth Reimbursement – With the expansive growth of telehealth, organizations face a new set of compliance and reimbursement challenges. They must be mindful of the ever-changing allowances for what will and will not be reimbursed. CMS and commercial payers have continued to modify the requirements that were expanded initially due to the pandemic but will now see some, but not all, of them becoming permanent.
COVID-19 Tracking Patients to Managing Vaccinations – Now that COVID-19 vaccines are in the final stages of approval and the initial stages of distribution, EHRs will be heavily utilized to track, trace and monitor vaccination progress within a complex environment of changing protocols, patient prioritization and local challenges.
Patient Engagement – COVID-19 has changed the way patients interact with their providers. With integrated telehealth visit functionality to tracking patient health data through their wearable devices, patients have expanded options for sharing relevant health information. This trend is likely to continue as third-party applications boost interoperability with larger EHR platforms.
Increased Cybersecurity Threats – 2020 has seen an increase in cyberattacks on health systems across the country. Ransomware attacks more than doubled in Q3 of 2020, with the healthcare sector being one of the most targeted. IT divisions are focused more than ever on the need for cybersecurity and ensuring business continuity plans are in place.
Secure, Scalable Infrastructure – In 2021, providers will need to evaluate their needs and select platforms to serve at scale.
Patient Experience is Paramount – Patient demand has been a critical driver in telehealth growth; this demand will endure and continually place greater expectations on healthcare organizations.
EHR-embedded Telehealth Maximizes Provider Efficiency – In the future, it will be essential for telehealth video functionality to be embedded in the EHR for it to reach its full efficiency and provider adoption.
Expect Vendor Consolidation and Maturation – The strategic shifts in telehealth described above will result in marked changes in the telehealth vendor market. Providers should plan for significant shifts in this market in 2021 – and plan their telehealth platforms and strategy accordingly.