RCM Answers Interviews Capto at HFMA ANI

Capto CEO, Tracy Currie, had the opportunity to sit down with Carol Flagg of RCM Answers during the recent Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) ANI conference. They discussed the business and customer experience opportunities for healthcare in the near future.

Read Carol's article and listen to her conversation with Capto:
HFMA ANI Conference Brings Leaders Together to Discuss Challenges Impacting RCM




2016: The Year of the Empowered Patient


I’ve yet to see the statistic that a new app is born every five minutes, but I’m sure it exists somewhere. At last count, there were 265,000 health-related apps on the iTunes and Android stores. Certainly the FitBit and its heart monitor predecessors paved the way for new health apps ranging from blood sugar monitors for diabetics, to weight loss, to support communities for any number of health afflictions.

The IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics recently analyzed 26,000 health apps and found that only 36 of these apps comprised 50% of all downloads (that’s 36 total, or 0.1%). Still, the implications and opportunities that arise from this increased level of engagement and monitoring by individuals is unprecedented. It is a gold mine of actionable data for the healthcare companies that can analyze and connect the individual dots in a meaningful way for consumers.

Technology Advances
Progressive technologies can also open endless doors for insurance providers. Providers have the potential to develop systems in collaboration with physicians to intervene and help remind patients to take exams and indicate a problem so they can be addressed sooner rather than later. These smart technologies increase the amount of data about each person, which actually helps physicians and insurance companies provide better care for patients.

InformationWeek recently reported that according to Sam Volchenboum, director of the Center for Research Informatics at the University of Chicago, “The coming year will bring patients more-informed treatments, faster rates of innovation, and new ways of ‘mashing up’ healthcare data, leading to greater insights into hard-to-crack diseases like cancer.”

Using The Right Data to Answer the Right Question
But how do providers use these technologies to create real and effective benefits for their customers? Some providers may take this to the concierge medicine levelby tailoring treatments at the DNA level. Others may take a more broad approach first, identifying the right questions to ask of the right data sets to determine what is most valuable to their customers as a whole or by segment. This will vary by provider, patient group, or disease to name a few.

From there, the provider should clearly define their value proposition so it resonates with its target audiences.

This foundation sets the direction for the go-forward strategy. It’s a race to the finish line: whoever has the quickest time to market will be the providers who succeed the world of the empowered patient.

The Perk For Consumers
The result is also valuable for consumers: More data about personal health helps people to take control and be more knowledgeable of their own health, which means reduced downstream medical costs, making them better customers for insurance companies.

Consumers are definitely embracing the idea. According to the PwC report about 32% of consumers had at least one health app on their phones in 2015, up from 16% in 2013. Consumers will begin tracking far more than general fitness. For example, EKG devices monitor vitals via Bluetooth and the Embrace Watch detects seizures in patients with epilepsy. There are also glucose trackers, pacemakers and other devices aimed at combating diabetes, sleep disorders and cardiovascular diseases. Soreon Research reports the market for wearables spouting all kinds of health data will reach $41 billion by 2020.

As more insurance providers put the control into the hands of the consumer and introduce tools to help track important data, this will lead to a marketplace where there can be in-depth analysis of health information, ultimately providing invaluable insights necessary to advance care, reduce costs and improve overall patient health.

The Big Data Talent War: Don’t Get Drawn In

Big Data Talent War Do Not Get DRawn In

Today’s demand for big data talent reflects a recurring theme that happens whenever a new valuable technology becomes available. Companies face the conundrum of figuring out how to quickly capitalize on the latest technology to gain business advantage during a time when a limited supply of skilled talent exists in the marketplace. 

Internally, the tug of war begins because marketing, operations and customer service all push to leverage these technologies as quickly as possible, while IT tries to figure out how to get it done. The business ends up with two options: develop the expertise internally or partner with an outside resource.

Build the Expertise
The conditioned response is to invest in hiring new talent with the needed expertise or training teams to capitalize on the new technology. We, however, would argue that choosing to develop the technical expertise internally is the wrong approach for most businesses.

Recruiting scarce big data talent is a tall order, and it can cost corporations precious time and hefty compensation packages. McKinsey reports that the United States is facing a shortage of 140,000 to 190,000 people with expertise in analyzing large amounts of data and 1.5 million managers and analysts with the skills to understand and make decisions based on big data analysis.

Recruiting a team for big data is expensive and takes significant time to onboard, train and maximize new capabilities effectively. The team can be invaluable once they are fully engaged and bring a greater return on investment for your company. Unfortunately, far too often, a team member or members can be lured away before delivering the hoped-for value.

Companies often believe they can train in-house teams of employees in new technologies rather than recruiting new employees, but this can come with a significant “cost of discovery.“  Members of the team typically learn by trial and error slowing progress and often causing frustration on several levels of the organization. The company will also invest substantial resources to build up employees’ expertise while losing valuable time.

It could take 12 to 18 months to see tangible business benefits if a company goes down the path of building a new capability internally, whether by recruiting new talent or training a team in-house. By the time the capacity is built and value is gathered from the team, the competitive differentiation is significantly diminished or even lost.

Buy the Capability, But Buy Smart
We encourage companies to consider choosing not to fight the big data talent battle. Companies can leverage the skills, tools and infrastructure of industry leading partners to create an outcome-based relationship, dramatically reducing time to market to capture the sought after competitive advantage. This allows companies to gain a dynamic competitive advantage that returns business results quickly before the advantage disappears. 

Business results can typically be realized in less than six months by leveraging a service provider to significantly reduce time to market. However, the key is to buy smart. This means understanding what skillsets you need and at what capacity. You should hire for outcomes versus output—keeping the team focused on the value proposition. It is also critical to clearly understand the ebb and flow of your department and partnering with a team that can quickly flex to meet the demand.

Bottom line: time to market is critical. Waiting for supply and demand to come into balance often means losing sought after competitive advantage. In our experience buying capacity is the better, faster route when you buy smart.