Struggling Hospitals Hold Off On Population Health, Analytics

Jennifer Bresnick | Health IT Analytics | June 18, 2014

Eighty-four percent of financially insecure hospitals are putting off investments in population health management and clinical analytics infrastructure, says a new survey by Black Book Rankings, focusing instead on improving revenue cycle management (RCM) and trimming waste to reduce their financial vulnerabilities.  More than 90% of hospital CFOs at organizations with negative financial margins are gearing their infrastructures to support value-based payment models even though the majority of their revenue still comes from traditional fee-for-service contracts.

“Trends in Medicare reimbursement, declining inpatient volumes, rising expenses and bad debt have most hospitals across the country struggling to avoid a financial stability crisis,” said Doug Brown, Managing Partner of Black Book Market Research.  “Most hospital CFOs have no choice but to leverage next generation financial system solutions including software and outsourced services in order to keep their organizations solvent. The reimbursement challenges ahead to get paid may require several new applications, and the frank reality is that outdated, understaffed and failing current solutions could quickly close a marginally performing hospital for good.”

Along with another recent report that found 89% of providers feel the need to upgrade their aging RCM systems, and a HIMSS Analytics assessment predicting strong investment in revenue management technology as hospitals desperately seek ways to stay ahead of the spending curve, it is no wonder that many organizations with shrinking coffers are focusing on critical operational issues instead of investing in patient engagement, population health, and other items on their wish lists. . “Given the complexities of each individual hospital, implementing the right software and outsourcing solutions in delicate sequence is crucial as to not create an even more adverse situation through the transition,” said Brown...